Castell Photography Gallery Closed in 2015



For a number of years, this was the website for the Castell Photography Gallery located in Asheville, North Carolina.
Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other outside sources.

The Castell Photography Gallery closed in 2015.



After more than 6 years of business, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the gallery's closing. Gallery owner Brie Castell will be relocating out of the US, and as a result, the gallery will be closing it's doors. The gallery will host a final farewell event on Friday, June 19th, from 6-8 PM.

Celebratoy cocktails will be served. This event will serve as both a chance to celebrate 6 exciting and enriching years of business, as well as a closing reception for the current exhibition, The Portrait and Landscape in Contemporary Photography.

The Portrait and Landscape in Contemporary Photography, although focusing on two traditional and endlessly explored subject matters in both photography and other art forms, features a group of work is anything but the expected. The exhibition includes a strange and captivating mix of works from Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman, Blake Fitch, Charlie Rubin, and Aline Smithson.

The gallery has been a constant source of excitement and inspiration for both gallery owner Brie Castell and gallery director Heidi Gruner, and the two women are immensely proud of what they have accomplished. They have worked with collaborators who are influential voices in the art world, and have been committed to consistently bringing leading authorities in the field of photography to the Asheville community. They have exhibited a myriad of talented artists, from young and emerging to established and prominent mid career artists, contributing to both the Asheville art community, as well as the fine art photography community on a much broader, national scale. Both Castell and Gruner will continue to be involved in the art world. It is their hope that those who are close enough will join them in celebrating the beautiful work on the walls, 6 years of business, creative collaborations, and the gifted artists who have graced the gallery with their talents over the years.

In addition to the Friday evening event, the gallery will resume normal hours on it’s final day of business on Saturday, June 20th. The photographs from the current exhibiton will still be hung on the walls, and the gallerists will also pull and put out a large selection of work from storage for patrons to enjoy. This is a perfect opportunity to acquire that piece you’ve been eyeing, add to your collection, and support this gallery and its artists one last time.


Castell Photography to close after six years | Published 10:19 a.m. ET June 9, 2015 |

Asheville’s all-photography gallery has remained committed to the medium for more than six years, but on June 20, it will close as owner Brie Castell prepares to leave the country.

Castell will celebrate its good run with a farewell cocktail reception 6-8 p.m. June 19.

The current exhibition, The Portrait and Landscape in Contemporary Photography, will remain on view through the following day. The gallerists will also unpack the photographs that remain in storage for display and sale.

In a statement, Castell and gallery director Heidi Gruner said they are proud to have shown work from both young and emerging photographers as well as more prominent artists. Both women plan to remain in the art world even after the gallery closes.

“The gallery has been a constant source of excitement and inspiration,” the statement reads. “The two women are immensely proud of what they have accomplished. They have worked with collaborators who are influential voices in the art world and have been committed to consistently bringing leading authorities in the field of photography to the Asheville community.”



Castell Photography Gallery closes

Posted on June 18, 2015 by Kyle Sherard |//

Photo by Elizabeth Fritts from Castell Photography Gallery's "Figures and Space" a group show in 2013 Image courtesy of Castell Photography

I can think of only a few moments in my 27 years when art has evoked what some might call a “religious experience.” Seeing Sally Mann’s Deep South photographs in person was one of them. Getting to preview a small collection of those same photographs in an empty Castell Photography Gallery last summer was another.

Over the last six years Castell Photography Gallery has organized an uninterrupted roster of the most innovative and intelligent photography exhibitions that Asheville has yet seen. The gallery has shown some of the medium’s greatest practitioners — historic and contemporary, national and local — from Mann to Adam Void, Imogen Cunningham to Sarah Anne Johnson.

But that has now come to an end. On Friday, June 19, Castell Photography Gallery will host a closing reception for its current and final exhibition, The Portrait and Landscape in Contemporary Photography. The gallery will permanently close the following day as owner Brie Castell prepares to move out of the country.

Since opening, Castell has set itself apart from other galleries through its sole, uncompromising focus on manual photography. Brie Castell and gallery director Heidi Gruner championed skill, technique and cultural import over hype, status and locale. They also helped usher in the now-prolific return of hand-manipulated, experimental printing techniques that date back to the 19th century.
This didn’t happen over night. “It took us a while to get off the ground,” Castell says. The earliest openings focused on the medium’s aesthetics and techniques, largely in a rigid, textbook manner. But Castell and Gruner soon broke with that formula and began embracing their personal tastes.

Sewn, burned, scratched and other modified or imperfect works became the in-house standard as Castell and Gruner sought out images and artists using obscure and abstract darkroom techniques. Six years ago these styles were neither prized nor popular. Now they are. And with each show the gallery evolved into a museumlike reliquary for bygone photo methods. “We had to learn to trust out own voices,” Castell says. “That helped us and the gallery grow into something bigger and more fulfilling.”

They also turned a space that should have failed — a dim, unassuming storefront in a low-traffic alley off Biltmore Ave. — into a successful business and an immaculate piece of architectural design. The gallery itself resembled a black-box theater, defying the normative museum-white walls while simultaneously lending a vaudevillian ambiance to each show.

Of all the exhibits that the duo organized, MERGE continues to stand out as their favorite. The show debuted in August 2014 and featured photographs from three prominent East coast collectors in combination with works by emerging photographers. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Friedlander and André Kertész were among the dozen or more big-name photographers who shared wall space with Aspen Hochhalter, Stacey Page and Amy Friend. The combination also proved popular with gallery visitors, whose numbers swelled for the duration of the show. For many, including myself, it was the first and perhaps only chance to see so many photographic giants on view in Asheville.

“Photography is an important fiber in our culture,” Gruner says. “I feel like anything that we could possibly do to advocate for makers producing important work that is both challenging and exciting is worth all of the work.”

Letting go of that work has not been as easy decision. The biggest demon of all, Castell says, is leaving at the moment when they feel on the brink of something big. But change is both constant and necessary, and it’s for good reason — Castell is leaving Asheville to join her fiancé off the coast of Belize where she hopes to reignite her own photography career.

When a gallery pulls in artists, collectors and enthusiast from all over the country, as Castell Photography Gallery so often did, it creates a richer experience for everyone involved. It raises the caliber of works being shown and created here in Asheville, boosts our credibility as an arts city and it makes the art community stronger.

WHAT: Castell Photography Gallery closing reception/farewell party
WHEN: Friday, June 19, 6-8 p.m.


Asheville, North Carolina
Fine Art Photography Gallery: Monthly Photography Exhibitions from National and International Artists

About the Gallery

Castell Photography, established in the spring of 2009, is a fine art gallery which solely exhibits photo based works. As the only photography gallery in Asheville, and one of few in the region, Castell Photography is committed to bringing work which is representative of contemporary photography to Western North Carolina and beyond. The gallery is dedicated to educating our clientele on the value and importance of photography within the art world.

Works shown are often times experimental, which is seen both in concept and in process.  At the least they are playful, quite often they are narrative, frequently illustrating the idea of equivalents or metaphor. They create a mood, they are conceptually sound, and they are often perplexing.  While works are often non traditional, they are always beautiful, whether in a conventional or atypical manner.

Gallery owner Brie Castell and Gallery Director Heidi Gruner are a passionate team who believe in the transcendence of the works which are exhibited as well as the artists who are represented. It is the gallery's mission to exhibit artists who are worthy of appreciation, to show images which will inspire and excite, and to offer works which will enrich your collection. 


About Brie Castell

Brie Castell is the owner and chief curator of Castell Photography in Asheville, North Carolina, one of the south's finest galleries specializing in contemporary photo-based media. Castell works with established and emerging artists from around the globe for exhibition and representation, and brings to Asheville leading authorities in the field of photography for educational programming. Castell has also been a working photo-based artist for over 12 years, has exhibited extensively around the country, and is in numerous public and private collections. In April of 2008, Brie was an exhibitor in The Artist Project at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, an exhibition of undiscovered artists which attracted more than 50,000 visitors. She was a featured artist in the Fall 2009 issue of Eyemazing Magazine, an award winning Amsterdam-based photography publication. Castell received her MFA from East Carolina University, and currently teaches photography at Virginia Intermont College.




Annie Hogan



Timothy Pakron



Rodger Ricco



Julie Sims



Brie Castell



Castell Photography offered 3 interships per year: Spring Semester (January-April). Summer Semester (May - August), and Fall Semester (September - December).


Spring/Summer 2012 Internship

Castell Photography, a fine art gallery which solely exhibits photo based works, is seeking a spring/summer intern. This position would be ideal for both photo/art majors, as well as those interested in our studying PR. Recent grads are also welcome to apply. 

The position will begin mid March, and will run through the summer. The intern will be expected to work both at the gallery as well as on their own time. Many projects will be ongoing throughout the course of the internship, and the intern will be responsible for maintaining progress and keeping the gallery staff posted of that progress. This is a great position for those wanting to learn more about the inner working of a gallery, or those who are interested in gallery work, and above all, are motivated and hard working. 

Internship will entail:

-Assisting in day to day operations
-Research, inventories, filing, etc.
-Gallery maintenance
-Assist in exhibit installation and de-installation
-Assistance during receptions & events
-Seeking out opportunities and exposure for our represented artists. 
-1 day of work per week (expect on show weeks, where additional work will be required), with a meeting at the begininning of each work day to discuss progress of work both while at the gallery and on your own time. 

While the day that the intern will work each week is flexible and can be set at the beginning of the internship, the intern is required to attend and assist at all opening receptions. There will be 4 opening receptions throughout the duration of the internship, and they will always be held on Friday evenings. 


-Motivation and a positive attitude
-Interest and knowledge of art and/or photography
-Neat appearance and personable
-Must be available for possible evening and/or Saturday work.
-Ability to work independently, both at the gallery and on your own time. 


-6-10 Hours per week depending on gallery schedule

To Apply:

-Submit a resume & cover letter(SUBMISSIONS WITHOUT A COVER LETTER WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED) explaining your interest in the position and
qualifications to the address above on or before Monday, March 5th.
-If you have been chosen for an interview you will be notified by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 7th. 
-PDF format is preferred, and all files MUST be named lastname_firstname (ex smith_katie)
-Interviews will be held the week of March 12th, with the position beginning the following week.