In This Issue:

Meet Jim McDowell: Face jugs from the “Black Potter”
• Artsville Weekend Sept. 9 + 10: Discussion group and Party
 Name Change: SHAC becomes ARTSVILLE
• New Exhibit:“A Walk in the Woods” with seven artists

Guest artists Bronwen McCormick, Jim McDowell, and Mary Farmer at Artsville Collective

Meet Jim McDowell: Three Ways to See, Listen and Learn about Face Jugs from this Renowned Potter

  • See Jim’s Face Jugs at Artsville Collective at Marquee thru Oct. 30
  • Listen to Jim tell his own story at the new Artsville USA podcast at or any popular podcast platform
  • Use this Zoom link for Art a la Carte, a virtual discussion with Jim McDowell on Friday Sept. 9 from 11:45 am to 1:15 

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 841 6194 0584
Passcode: Artsville

Look at Listen: Jim McDowell’s featured face jug at Artsville Collective

Jim McDowell: Telling the Stories of His Black Ancestors, One Face Jug at a Time

“You can’t just do art for art’s sake. You have to have emotion. You have to have a story behind it. Otherwise, why are you doing it?” Jim McDowell tells Artsville Collective.

Jim, who creates under the name of “the Black Potter” is best known for his impactful face jugs, but he also creates functional pottery. In his Artsville podcast episode released on August 15, Jim reveals the  captivating stories that guide his work with a full heart and the energy of a passionate creator.

Face jugs are historically linked to African American enslaved communities in the US. Most of the talented artists’ names are missing, and there is mystery around the purpose of the jugs because of the gaps in recorded history. Jim’s fourth great aunt was a slave potter in Jamaica and through passed-down stories he learned that the jugs were used to carry spirits, ward off evil, and mark graves, as the enslaved weren’t allowed tombstones.

Jim has his ancestors in his ear—and guiding his hands—and has made it his responsibility to tell their stories, keep the tradition alive, and share this piece of Black history that has been erased. Creating the jugs takes about a week—“plus 40 years,” he jokes with a hearty chuckle—and his process is emotionally charged. His ancestors “speak” to him in his dreams, inspiring him in his making and committing him to connecting past stories to today’s history-making events.

Every face jug has a purposeful inscription on the back in honor of an enslaved man named David Drake (“Dave”) from an Edgefield, South Carolina plantation who was able to write on his jugs and even sign his name. “The writing is so significant because it refers to what’s on the front of the jug. It refers to the whole gamut of the emotional content, and also the spiritual content.”

Jim McDowell

Jim McDowell’s face jugs tell stories of his Black ancestors

UP NEXT: Podcast Interview with Jim McDowell: The Black Potter

Jim tells stories through the voices of his slave ancestors and his ancestral history with his nationally-known face jugs.  He has made a special collection at affordable prices for our ARTSVILLE Collective audience. Jim’s work is featured in our WALK IN THE WOODS exhibit, opening through Oct. 30 at Marquee. 

READ MORE about Jim McDowell in the August Issue of The Laurel of Asheville:

Save these dates: September 9 and 10
Artsville Discussion via Zoom and Party at Artsville Collective

You’re invited to join our artists, creative supporters and community friends at Artsville Collective at Marquee on Saturday, September 10 from 2 – 5 pm. This always fun event brings opportunities to speak with our exhibiting artists, see the works of seven talented creatives in our new fall show, “A Walk in the Woods”, and enjoy drinks and refreshments. At 3:30 pm, we will acknowledge the wonderful guest artists now showing at Artsville Collective.

Enjoy learning about their works: Bronwen McCormick, Mary Farmer, Jo Miller, Ellen Golden and Jim McDowell. 

ArtsvilleUSA, our new website, shows its face at

NEW WEBSITE: will soon replace

We are transitioning slowly to the Artsville name and website.  For now, information is available on both sites.  Help us grow by telling us what you think about the new site at

Comments at

Five guest artists join Louise Glickman and Daryl Slaton at
A Walk in the Woods.

“A Walk in the Woods” on Display Now at Artsville Collective

Five guest artists join Daryl Slaton and Louise Glickman to reveal the glory of our Carolina woodlands with a variety of mediums and from personal perspectives. Not at all what you would expect, their viewpoints reveal Appalachia through a fresh lens, inspired by fall and full of surprises for all leaf-peepers. See the works of: 

Marquee in the RAD.

Artsville Collective is inside Marquee at 36 Foundy Street 

in Asheville’s River Arts District or

For more information contact

News and More at Artsville and Sand Hill Artists Collective

Artsville NC Podcast: “How Asheville Became Artsville” Listen to all episodes in our series with Asheville area’s arts and crafts doers, movers and shakers. Hear them at