Convening the Curious

Who We Are

Holler is a new online arts and culture forum for the creative community of Western North Carolina. Our mission is to look deeply into the sources and achievements of art in all media in this unique region; to serve as a record in progress of rapid change in our forms of expression, cultural themes, challenges, and new economies of creative production; to articulate critical response and give artists and their audiences a place to meet, speak, share experiences, and undertake collaboration.


Colby Caldwell

Colby currently lives and works in Asheville, NC.  From 1997-­2001, Caldwell taught in both the Fine Art and the Photography departments at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. From 2002 – 2012, he was an Associate Professor of Art at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Caldwell has curated several shows including – Practice Makes Perfect, at DCAC, in Washington DC, Made History: Important Soviet WWII Photographs, at Boyden Gallery, St. Mary’s College, and Give and Take, at AAAC in Asheville, NC.  He is the program director and co-founder of REVOLVE, an art/think space in Asheville.

His work has been shown both nationally and internationally since 1988. how to survive your own death, Caldwell’s most recent solo show, opened at HEMPHILL in January 2016. His previous two solo shows – gun shy and spent – opened concurrently at HEMPHILL and Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC in March of 2012, and were reviewed in Art Forum, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and other publications. Most recently, he has collaborated with James Huckenpahler and Matt Sargent on a multi-media interpretation of his work.  Entitled “he who dreams of magic bullets…” - this interactive sound/visual piece was shown in Klaipeda, Lithuania in the spring of 2014 as part of a cultural exchange program highlighting American art in which he was asked to lecture on his work and the lasting legacy of Robert Frank and the Beat generation.    


Ursula Gullow

Ursula is a visual artist living in Asheville, NC. She is a recipient of the North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant (2009) and Penland School of Craft's Williams and Womble Scholarship (2014). Venues for her solo exhibitions include PUSH Gallery in Asheville, NC, Malcolm E. Blowers Gallery at UNC in Asheville, and Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

Gullow's paintings have been shown nationally at galleries including Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, Aiden Savoy Gallery & Jack the Pelican in NYC, and Bickett Gallery in Raleigh, NC. Regionally she has exhibited at The Asheville Art Museum, Greenville Art Museum and Hickory Art Museum in North Carolina. Gullow has been an artist-in-residence with The Gil-Society in Akureyri, Iceland (2005),Spark Box Studio in Picton, Canada (2016) and Artspace in Raleigh, NC (2017.)

Since moving to Asheville in 2003, Gullow has worked on a number of media projects including the production of her own public access TV show, Art Seen Asheville. She has also worked as an arts journalist for various local publications and as an arts administrator for the Media Arts Project. Gullow currently teaches painting and design classes at A-B Technical Community College and was awarded the“Outstanding Continuing Education Instructor” in 2014.


Anna Helgeson

Through performances, photographs and words Anna Helgeson draws threads of the past into the present in order to shine new light on forgotten ideas and people in the hope of making space for new possibilities.  Helgeson received a BA from Ripon College, and a MFA (Cum Laude) from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has exhibited, performed and lectured throughout the United States including at Work Gallery (Detroit, MI), The Milwaukee Art Museum, Lucky Star Gallery (Milwaukee, WI), MIAD (Milwaukee, WI), University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Union Gallery, Rose Street Gallery (Burlington, VT), The University of North Carolina, Asheville Queer Studies Conference (Asheville, NC), Revolve Gallery (Asheville, NC) and is featured on the website “Reframing Photography; Theory and Practice” (Routledge Press).  

Helgeson currently spends her days administrating grants and planning programs for The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, serves on the board for the Asheville Community Darkroom, is on the editorial board for the new online arts and culture magazine, Holler and is conspiring to bring another provocative weeklong symposium to Asheville with programing related to photography and the environment with the Photo+ team.

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Ali McGhee

Ali is the Editorial Director of the Asheville Grit ( She has a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Rochester and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in English with a minor in Religious Studies. Her academic research and much of creative writing focuses on boundary transgressions, intersections of human creativity and technology, and hauntings, both literal and figurative. Her short story, "Chinchilla," was published this year in Slippery Elm Literary Journal. Her academic work has appeared in Atlantic StudiesThe Edgar Allan Poe ReviewRomantic Circles, and Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations. She is also a contributor for Yoga Basics ( and Sensible Reason, a millennial arts and culture website ( She teaches Baptiste-inspired yoga at Pure Yoga in downtown Asheville, and she is currently on the path to certification in the Baptiste methodology. 

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Bernard Welt

Bernard is the author of Mythomania: Fantasies, Fables, and Sheer Lies in Contemporary American Art and has contributed poems and short stories to many journals and anthologies (including The Best American Poetry), and to art catalogues including Splat! Boom! Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art; Raymond Pettibon: A Reader; and Gun Shy, a catalogue of co-exhibitions by Colby Caldwell at Hemphill Fine Arts and Civilian Fine Arts in Washington DC. He has been an editor of The Washington Review of the Arts, a contributing editor of Art Issues (Los Angeles), and a reviewer for many journals and magazines, including The Washington Post Book World, The Washington Blade, People, The New Art Examiner, Lambda Book Report, and High Performance. He is Professor Emeritus at the Corcoran College of the Arts and Design at The George Washington University. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship in Writing.


Jon Nelson

Jon is an interactive media artist based out of Asheville, NC who's work seeks to evaluate and experiment with the digital experience.  He is currently a New Media student at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.