Local Artist Introduces New Medium

Irene “Jenny” Pickens stands in front of her artistic rendering of her niece Candace Pickens. Also shown are other works she has created.  Photo: Urban News

Irene “Jenny” Pickens stands in front of her artistic rendering of her niece Candace Pickens. Also shown are other works she has created. Photo: Urban News

Irene “Jenny” Pickens has launched a line of handmade dolls.

Asheville, NC native Irene “Jenny” Pickens will have her new collection of handmade dolls showcased at the Big Crafty art and craft fair at the U.S. Cellular Center December 4, 2016.

Born and reared in Asheville, Pickens launched her line of dolls, named Cand-E-laine, in memory of her niece who was tragically killed earlier this year. “I have recently developed a love for sewing dolls. These dolls hold a special place in my heart and can be personalized with items from loved ones who have passed,” she said.

Irene’s love for art began at a young age when she would find random forms to draw. As she grew older, she experimented with different mediums, including pencil, pen and ink, pastels, oils, and acrylic. “My passion has always been in acrylic painting on canvas,” said Pickens. Earlier this year her works of art were exhibited at UNC Asheville.

Pickens Cand-E-laine Dolls will be featured at the Big Crafty.  Photo: Urban News

Pickens Cand-E-laine Dolls will be featured at the Big Crafty. Photo: Urban News

She notes that local artists often do not enjoy the same exposure as newcomers or transplanted artists. Homegrown artists, like local writers, actors, and musicians, are frequently overlooked in favor of those who build their reputations elsewhere.

“As a local artist, I’ve had my art displayed in various places over the years,” she said. “[But] it has been difficult to get the exposure many non-locals receive here. It is my hope that by participating in the Big Crafty this cycle will be broken.”

Big Crafty is a twice-annual exhibit of the works of craftspeople from the WNC region, offering the public an opportunity to purchase their work from the artists. The summer event is held outdoors on Pack Square Park downtown; the winter fair, indoors at the U.S. Cellular Center, is an all-day event held right before Christmas.

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