Old friends. New faces. Influential photographers. In three major exhibits, the Upstairs Artspace presents a total of 15 artists. The opening is Saturday, March 17 with a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m., preceded by a Walk & Talk with selected artists at 5 p.m. Jazz guitarist Greg Patterson will entertain with jazz classics.

Walking into the gallery, the first exhibit is Perceptions and Reflections, featuring abstract painting by Joel Edwards and Ani Magai; haunting drawing by Christopher Charles Curtis; and papier colle collage by Mark S. Holland. Edwards, Magai and Curtis are new arrivals to Hendersonville, where they are represented by Canvas Artspace. Holland resides in Asheville.

Edwards describes his abstract approach to art as a dialogue with his unconscious; the paintings are remarkable for their big thoughts within small dimensions. Magai, a transplant from New Mexico, is inspired by modern jazz composition, evident in her colorful, precise marks on the canvas.

Curtis' elegant art draws on old photographs, curious objects and a nostalgic, sometimes darker narrative. Holland's work, on the other hand, is about nature abstracted in his beautiful collage application. He wishes for each piece to be "restful, peaceful, cheerful" -- in contrast to our technology-driven, fragmented society.

In the Small Works Gallery, Bobbie Polizzi returns to the Upstairs with junk & disorderly, a solo show of her whimsical, often fantastical assemblages and mixed media wall pieces. The popular Hendersonville artist is represented by The Gallery at Flat Rock.

The third exhibit, Guided Light: Masters of Contemporary Photography, presents the work of nine photographers of the past 50 years, many of whom are cited in Wikipedia. They are Brad Cole, Linda Connor, Oliver Gagliani, German Herrera, Eikoh Hosoe, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Frederick Sommer, Arthur Tress and Jack Welpott.

Each photographer has influenced the show's curator Ben Nixon, who exhibits his newer work, a series of photograms, along with the others. This is Nixon's fourth show at the Upstairs; he lives in Asheville and avidly collects photography.