Community Gallery Exhibition

November 3 – December 20, 2023

Opening Reception 

November 3 from 6-9 PM

‘Mono No Aware,’ is a Japanese term meaning “beauty tinged with sadness.” More specifically, the term alludes to the bittersweet awareness that all things inevitably change form or come to an end. Both a deep ache and a deep appreciation accompany this awareness. 

In “Mono No Aware,” exhibiting artist Leigh Mitchell presents over 30 black & white photographs inspired by the ephemeral nature of things and relating to ideas of impermanence, reverence, beauty, and loss. Included in the exhibition are images that allude to feelings of vulnerability and loneliness as well as to the feelings of awe one can experience while marveling at nature’s various manifestations.  

Underneath Mitchell’s personal associations and experiences is a deep concern for the damaging impact we are having on our environment. Mitchell’s work speaks to the tangled mess humanity and the earth are in and conveys an eerie sense of foreboding for what may lie ahead. 

About the Artist
Leigh Mitchell is a photographic artist and educator. She obtained a master’s degree in Studio Art from Western Carolina University, and she was a college instructor for twelve years, teaching Film Photography I and II, Digital Photography I and II, and Photography Appreciation. Her work has been exhibited in a variety of locations, including The Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), The Asheville Area Arts Council (Asheville, NC), The SE Center for Photography (Greenville, SC), Rochester Contemporary Art Center (Rochester, NY), and The Asheville Art Museum. She was the juror for Knoxville Photo at the Emporium Center in 2018 in Knoxville, TN, was a Regional Scholastic Art Judge through the Asheville Art Museum in 2011, 2013, and 2018, and juried the Diverse Works exhibit at the YMI Cultural Center in Asheville, NC in 2015. Her sensibility is toward images that have a lyrical quality while, at the same time, are able to capture the tension and reality of life. Her work can be viewed at

Generous support provided by media sponsor

For any artwork purchase inquiries, please visit the gallery during regular business hours or contact Gallery Director, Ben Tarcson for more information.