Signature Piece

The Signature Piece of art is the cornerstone of the Raise Your Hand Auction & Gala.   Each year we hold a juried competition seeking the winning piece of art that will be featured on our event poster, website, social media, and in all advertisements.  The Signature Piece of art is the most exciting component of our live auction, and in past years has raised over $6,000.00.

Save the Date!

The Signature Piece Competition will take place on 

June 12th, 2017

All submissions are due Thursday, June 8th

Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) is busy making plans for the 29th annual Raise Your Hand Auction and Gala, scheduled for September 23, 2017 at the Asheville Event Centre. We are inviting artists to compete for our Raise Your Hand Signature Piece of art. Please mark your calendars and contact us if you have any questions. Jurors to be announced in April!

Last year, the Signature Piece and two runners up enjoyed exhibits at the Surface Gallery, Tops for Shoes, Rezaz and Postero. We do our very best to promote your winning art broadly throughout our community. Including feature articles in monthly publications.

With gratitude for all you do for WNCAP and others throughout our region.

Pam Siekman
RYH Chairperson, 2017


Announcing 2017 Competition Jurors

Cindy Walton

The unique and often-colorful patterning themes in Constance Williams paintings transcend, by linking a multitude
of mediums she has worked in, which becomes a rhythmic dialog, endlessly re-imagined; deviations of expanded and contracted elements from previous paintings. A mostly self-taught artist, she is endlessly stimulated to experiment, originate, and employ new ways to use and combine mediums and substrates.
Born in Somerset England, Constance was enamored with all the arts. She was an accomplished pianist and already oil painting by the age of eight. In her teens she excelled in clay sculpture and continued painting. At seventeen she was a film intern in London and majored in art. Her move to the US saw her start an award winning international greeting card company. Her move to Asheville NC in 2004 was the impetus to propel her professional career as a full-time artist. She delved back into clay sculpture with great success. It was her use of waxes on post-fired sculpture that forayed her into painting with encaustic (a wax & resin paint medium) in 2006. In 2015, she introduced alcohol ink onto her encaustic paint medium and then painting alcohol ink onto Yupo paper and aluminum panels.
Constance draws inspiration from originators such as Frankenthaler, Still, and Rothko, among others. Also, the historical legend of Black Mountain College, near her home in Asheville, fostered a strong sense of individuality and creative intensity in the region. The work of its faculty and students revolutionized the arts and science scenes in the second half of the twentieth century. Among the best-known affiliates were Josef and Anni Albers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Buckminster Fuller, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, M.C. Richards, Charles Olsen and Jacob Lawrence. Their legacy continues to reverberate and inspire the next art movement in Western North Carolina.
As of December 2016, her 4000 SQ FT studio and salon of her work is located within a 50,000 SQ FT building, called the RAMP studios in Asheville NC, a professional collective of creators and makers, located just North of the River Arts District and the SW perimeter of the University North Carolina Asheville.


Virginia Derryberry

Virginia Derryberry’s work is shown regularly in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, and her paintings have been written about in an extensive list of publications including several exhibition catalogs (2016, 2014, 2009, 2008, 2006, 1998), New American Paintings magazine, and the Oxford American Magazine.   Her solo exhibition, Private Domain, shown in February, 2016, at the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, UNC Asheville, has traveled to venues in South Carolina, Alabama and Pennsylvania during 2016 and 2017.  She has received such awards as College Art Association Distinguished Teaching of Art (2017), Outstanding Artistic Achievement from the Southeastern College Art Association (2013); Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome (2016 and 2010); Distinguished Teacher of the Year (2005) and the Feldman Professor designation for scholarship (2010) from the University of North Carolina Asheville; the Annual Artist Fellowship from the Southeastern College Art Association (2005); a residency at Moulin a’ Nef, Auvillar, France, through the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2004).  Her drawings and paintings are in numerous private collections throughout the Southeast and in the permanent collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Morris Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Asheville Art Museum, the Bank of America Southeast Collection, and the Tennessee State Museum.  Her work is also represented in two major public art commissions:  a site-specific installation of 16 paintings at the Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport and a 10 piece multi-panel painting at the Knoxville Convention Center.  She has taught drawing and painting in a number of universities, most recently as a Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History, UNC Asheville, from 1996 – 2015 where she also served as the Director of Undergraduate Research from 2005 – 2008 and as Department Chair from 2009-2014.  Although Derryberry retired from teaching in December, 2015, she continues to be actively engaged in the process of making and exhibiting her paintings and fabric constructions.


Erin Kellem


Erin Kellem is an award-winning artist with decades of photography experience. Her portfolio includes landscapes and coastal images and, after moving to Asheville in 2002, architectural images as well. Erin’s work was shown in several galleries in California and several galleries here in Asheville, most notably Woolworth Walk.
In mid-2003, after showing her photography at Woolworth Walk for about a year, Erin joined the gallery staff. Being a working artist and a gallery manager simultaneously for many years gained her a unique perspective and has influenced her present role as Curating Manager.
She stepped back from her personal artistic pursuits for a variety of reasons, but her passion towards the Asheville art scene remains. Erin says, “Working with local artists is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I am fascinated and privileged to watch so many talented artists following their creative paths and growing and evolving their work. Standing in the gap between artists and customers, encouraging both in their love of art at Woolworth Walk, is a lovely place to be!”




2016 Signature Piece Winner, Constance Williams

“Distillation Series- Green Blue.”

Distillation Series Green-Blue web image

Her winning entry was a 48″ x 48″ alcohol ink painting on aluminum board. This is a new medium for Constance and she’s getting rave review due to the fluidity of vibrant color on  a minimalist board; it truly makes a statement! William’s process is a sequence of rhythmic arrangements ,while focusing on tonal composition. The resulting are striking, manifesting layers of surface allure and and inward complexity.


Constance is a longtime supporter of WNCAP, donating in year past and always a patron of the Gala. You can seee more of Constance’s new works as well are her well-know encaustic art at Surface Gallery in Biltmore Village.

Surface gallery black-web size

2016 Signature Piece Runner’s Up



Love Written in the Air 48" x 48"



First runner up in the competition was Linda McCane Gritta, for her 48 x 48 acrylic on canvas entitled “Love Written
in the Air”
(for Paul)









Third place went to Gayle Paul for her 24 x 36 oil on canvas entitled “Do I Know You From Somewhere II”.







Thank you to all of the fantastic Artists who entered in last year’s competition!

Kathryn Abernathy, Ana Blanton, Rachel Clegg, Yossi Daboosh, Jacqui Fehl, Barbara Fisher, Linda McCane Gritta, Michael Hatch, Mark Henry, Reda Kay, Dale McEntire, Gayle Paul, Barbara Perez, Chris Sheppard, David Skinner, Constance Williams.

To view the other entries, please visit our Gallery.