Current Exhibitions

Billie Grace Lynn, White Elephant 1, 2007, ripstop nylon, chiffon, electric fan, 10 x 6 x 8 feet

Patrick Flibotte, Inflatable Superheroes, 2007, Ripstop nylon, electric fan, 18 x 5 x 4 feet each

Momoyo Torimitsu, Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable, 2000, inflatable nylon balloons, 6.5 x 6.5 x 15.8 feet each, photo by Kioku Keizo, Courtesy of Misa Shin Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Guy Overfelt, Untitled (1977 Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am replica), 1999, inflatable nylon and electric blower, 4.5 x 17 x 7 feet, Courtesy of Ever Gold Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Lewis deSoto, Paranirvana (Self-portrait), 2012, painted nylon, fan, 6 x 26 x 7 feet, courtesy of Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland, CA

Claire Ashley, Beauwoahzeau One & Two, 2012, spray paint on PVC coated canvas tarpaulin and fan, 12 x 12 x 12 feet each, Courtesy of Galleri Urbane Marfa + Dallas, TX


Blow up: inflatable Contemporary Art

July 21 - November 25, 2018
Entrance, Shuford & Coe Galleries

Click here to download Exhibition Guide

BLOW UP explores the imaginative ways that artists use air as a tool for creating large-scale sculpture and includes imagery that is figurative and abstract. Accessible, yet rich with meaning, these pieces use perception of space and unexpected materials to open a dialogue about pop culture and social norms.

“Inflatable structures connote fun and whimsy, and challenge our everyday, feet-on-the-ground perspective. The show creates a spectacular, immersive environment and taps into our fascination with inflatables with artworks that are surreal, humorous and poetic,” says the exhibition organizer Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions, Bedford Gallery.

This traveling exhibition includes major works by Claire Ashley (Chicago), Lewis deSoto (Napa), Patrick Flibotte (New York), Billie Grace Lynn (Miami), Guy Overfelt, Momoyo Torimitsu (Tokyo), and Lee Boronson (Brooklyn).

Exhibition Sponsors:

Annual Sponsors:

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BLOW UP: Inflatable Contemporary Art was organized by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA.

This exhibition was made possible by a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

 Ella E. Richards, "The Violinist," oil on canvas, Gift of Laura Richards, 1950.4

Ella E. Richards, "The Violinist," oil on canvas, Gift of Laura Richards, 1950.4


Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Campbell’s Soup (Scotch Broth), 1969, screenprint in colors on smooth wove paper, signed and numbered: 100/250, On loan from Private Collection

Claude Howell (1915-1997), Junction132, acrylic on canvas, Museum purchase, 2013.21

Claes Oldenburg (b.1929), Pizza, 1964, etching, Gift of John Van Kirk in memory of Ruth H. Van Kirk, 2008.16.1j


Dear Paul Letters:
The Correspondence that built HMA's Collection

June 30, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Whitener Gallery

In the days before email and texts, people corresponded through letters. The Museum is fortunate to have letters written to Paul Whitener, HMA’s founder and first director, from artists and donors regarding early acquisitions to the Collection. Works of art by Wilford Seymour Conrow, Ella Richards, Guy Carlton Wiggins and others will be presented alongside of letters, offering an “insider” perspective to HMA’s early days of collecting. This exhibition paves the way into HMA’s 75th Anniversary celebration.

Support provided by the Kenneth K. Millholland & Suzanne G. Millholland Endowment Fund, a component fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Annual Sponsor: Broyhill Family Foundation

Connie BoStic

August 11 - November 4, 2018
localHMA Galleries

Asheville, North Carolina artist Connie Bostic presents her paintings as part of HMA’s Local Artist Series. Often working in a series, her work explores timely social themes. Bostic exhibited in the Museum’s 2012 exhibition Waking Up with Van Gogh and maintains a studio in Asheville’s River Arts District.


POP: Everyday Imagery as Art

July 7, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Windows Gallery

Selections of Pop Art and works inspired by the movement from the Museum’s collection and on loan from private collectors is presented in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition BLOW UP: Inflatable Contemporary Art. Artists include Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and more.


 Photo by Sherrie Wells

Photo by Sherrie Wells

Discover FOlk Art:
Unique Visions by Southern Contemporary folk Artists

Entire Third Floor

Hickory Museum of Art recently expanded their Southern Contemporary Folk Art Collection and Exhibition space. A new, hands-on exhibition was installed on the Museum's 3rd floor Mezzanine Gallery.

The Interactive Exhibition Features:

         • Re-creations of Artists’ Working Environments
         • Touch Screens
         • Over 200 Folk Art Objects
         • Sounds & Smells
         • Family Activity Stations
         • and More!                                

Free Family Guides for the exhibition are available at the Museum’s check-in desk in the first floor HMA Galleria. Copies of the children’s book, Discover Folk Art: An Adventure with Artie at the Hickory Museum of Art, are also available in the Galleria for $9.95. In the book, Artie (HMA’s art-loving mascot) takes a group of children on a tour of the galleries and introduces them to work by several folk artists including Sam “The Dot Man” McMillan and Q.J. Stephenson.

 Robert Levin,  Untitled,  1990, glass, Gift of Sonia & Isaac Luski, 2002.1.8

Robert Levin, Untitled, 1990, glass, Gift of Sonia & Isaac Luski, 2002.1.8

 Sam Passantino,  Lion , wood and paint, Gift of the Children of Sam Passantino, 2016.22.a

Sam Passantino, Lion, wood and paint, Gift of the Children of Sam Passantino, 2016.22.a

Glass From the Museum's Collection

Objects Gallery

This exhibition features glass works given to the Museum by Sonia and Isaac Luski, and Rose and Abraham Luski. Several styles of glass blowing are demonstrated, and the show features artists with connections to the prestigious Penland School of Crafts nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.


from the Sam Passantino Collection

Through December 30, 2018
Objects Gallery

This exhibition features 30 animal sculptures by folk artist Sam Passantino. Young visitors will delight in seeing the artist's frogs, birds, turtle, lion, fish, giraffes and more.