Busker of the day – Sumer Zachary

© John Gellman

You can often find Sumer Zachary among the musicians and other buskers on Pack Square in downtown Asheville, but she is a little different. Sumer performs the ritual of reading Tarot for interested passerby. Take a few minutes to sit at her table, and she will go through her deck of cards and tell you something about yourself.

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Buskers of the day – Mike and Kelsey

© John Gellman

Finally got a dog past the layers of security at the Flatiron Studios. Mike Quain and Kelsey Robins are Hearth and Highway, from Fayetteville, Arkansas. They are touring around the country in their van with their instruments and Ese, an Australian Shepherd. Ese enjoyed the ride up the elevator and posed with them in my studio this afternoon.

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Busker of the day – Billy Scribbles

© John Gellman

I saw Billy Scribbles busking in front of the Flatiron sculpture as I walked to my studio today. It’s a hot August day in Asheville, so Billy was ready for a break after an hour. He came up to the fifth floor for a portrait that shows a little wear and tear, not to mention a bit of carpal tunnel on his wrist. This is not to be confused with car pool tunnel, which he gets when he drives his friends down Tunnel Road.

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Busker of the day – Teso McDonald

© John Gellman

If you’ve seen Teso McDonald busking, more often than not you had to look up, because he was likely playing in a tree. But no more. Teso tells me that since a recent conversation with one of Asheville’s finest, he has been grounded. He did make it up to my fifth floor Flatiron Studio for a portrait.

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Midnight at Funaholics Unanimous

© John Gellman

For those who ask, what was Transformus like, it was a humongous theme party centered on art, sensuality, freedom, fun, and fire, not necessarily in that order. This is a surrealistic view of what it was like with a little impressionism tossed in. If you can’t hear the electronic dance music, at least you should be able to feel the heat. I’m pretty sure this campsite was called Funaholics Unanimous. (If not, please let me know and I’ll update.) Located in the Valhalla neighborhood, this was one of the livelier dance and drinking spots at the festival.

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Psychedelic burn at Transformus

© John Gellman

This was the scene for the climactic burn at Transformus Saturday night. Set out in the woods near Asheville, Transformus is a regional Burning Man festival. If you can’t make it to the desert playa out west, Asheville is a pretty good alternative. Thousands of people gathered at the burn field next to a lake to witness the huge central effigy go up in flames. Imagine sitting down at the table for dinner and burning the rather large centerpiece to cinders. Let’s just say it was a bit surreal. Then it was back to the biggest party I have ever been a part of. This thing goes nonstop from Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening. Absolutely spectacular fun in a truly beautiful place. Lots of very cool people. Lots of art. And lots of fire. This is not a party to be missed.

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Is this the coolest place in Asheville?

© John Gellman

I’m taking a break from my busker portrait series today to post a pic of Ryan Mcredmond skateboarding at one of the coolest spots I’ve found in town. A friend took me to a location in the old run down warehouse district near the French Broad River. There are nearly a dozen warehouses all completely painted by local artists with a skate park at one end. You can’t see this place from the road. I’ve driven by countless times, and had no clue it was there. Like Arnold says in the movies, I’ll be back.

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Busker of the day – Chris Rodrigues

© John Gellman

Chris posed for me at the corner of Wall Street and Battery Park Avenue, just outside my Flatiron Studios.

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