Ashley said he first met USA Libraries Dean Dr. Richard Wood several years ago when Ashley worked on the furniture installation for the addition to the main library. Wood invited Ashley to exhibit artwork at the library in years past.
Wood said he is excited about Ashley’s gift to the library and appreciates its addition to the space.
“It’s the first free-standing sculpture we have ever had in the library, and we are so proud of it,” Wood said. “It adds to our growing permanent collection of art, which includes a Rembrandt painting.”
Ashley said art has been a lifelong interest and vocation for him. His takes his inspiration from people he knows or meets and materials he finds.
“I don't remember a time when I was not interested in art,” he said. “For the last ten years, I've been designing furniture and space planning for a commercial furniture dealership. I made my first assemblage in 2007 and now I feel like that's what I should be doing. Because I use found materials, it's like I'm sampling existing designs and using them to create my own. It just feels natural to me.”
Ashley’s exhibit is running concurrently with Mike Carmichael’s photographic exhibit, “Room with a View,” which represent experiences Carmichael has had exploring several of the pristine lakes, creeks and rivers in Alabama.