Come down to the River Arts District this weekend to check out Wedge Brewery’s latest addition – a fully functional, stammeringly beautiful, large scale kinetic metal dinosaur skeleton that has been permanently affixed some 25 feet above the back lot.
Originally constructed in 1997 by Asheville sculptor John Payne, the dinosaur, known as the Utahraptor, was one of Payne’s earliest experimentations in kinet-o-skeletons. Payne passed away in 2008 and his personal collection of kinetic sculptures were sold to an Atlanta company that created a traveling exhibit with them. The sculptures are currently touring the United States and the show is scheduled to go abroad.
The Utahraptor is the only large scale work of Payne’s to remain here in Asheville. Payne was one of the earlier pioneers in the Asheville River Arts District, and was a founding member of the artists studios that reside in the Wedge. Utahraptor was purchased by the current owners of Wedge Studios to display as a fitting memorial to the artist and is now installed above the entrance of his old studio.
The Wedge commissioned one of John’s former assistants, Chas Llewellyn to retrofit the sculpture and devise the infrastructure for its permanent outdoor installation. Working out of Payne’s old studio there in the building, and utilizing much of the knowledge gained under Payne’s tutelage, Llewellyn worked for three months to design and develop the new installation (that includes the completely cool pull ties to make the monster move). Head down to Wedge this weekend and check it out.
What: The Mighty Utahraptor at Wedge Brewing Co.
Where: Wedge Brewing Company, 37 Payne’s Way, Asheville, NC
When: From now until the next great extinction.
Bonus: Catch a couple of movies this Saturday at the Wedge Cinema! DA Pennebaker’s “Chiefs” (1968) and “Monterey Pop” (1967), Movies start about 8.