September 14, 2021. Watercolor artist Zan Thompson will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through September 19 as part of their Artists in Residency program. This is the final week of the program for 2021. Watercolor artist, teacher and observer of place, Zan grew up playing and experimenting with art in his parents’ Atlanta studios. Of all the mediums, he was most attracted to watercolor but found it more difficult than other medium. It was this love for watercolor that would bring him back again and again until he found the joy and excitement he had always expected. Today, Zan paints strictly in watercolor, is a signature member of Watercolor Society of North Carolina and teaches classes in watercolor. Zan’s themes include landscapes, seascapes/fishing, botanical, still lives, and abstract art. Come meet Zan from September 13th through September 19th at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock. Zan’s residency concludes this summer’s Artist-in-Residence program.
September 8, 2021. A re-creation of the 1940’s Lux Radio Theatre musical adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” will be presented by the group at Ensemble Stage this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As a tribute to the time of musicals and performances being broadcast live over the radio, the actors and actresses will perform a script similar to the original Lux Radio Hour script from over 80 years ago. The show will feature live music and on-stage sound effects just like how it would have been produced in the 1940s. The show will be approximately one hour and 15 minutes in length. Tickets are still available for each show this weekend. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children ages 16 and under. Showtimes for Wizard of Oz are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 10, 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 11 and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, September 12. By Nathan Ham
September 7, 2021. Artists Linda Elksnin, Lisa Pepper and Bob Meier will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through September 12 as part of their Artists in Residency program. Linda’s colorful, whimsical paintings are inspired by eclectic sources such as textiles, self-taught and outsider artists, and mainstream artists such as Mark Rothko, Romare Bearden and Marc Chagall. She incorporates symbols, shapes, and subject matter from a variety of cultures, including those of the American South, Appalachia, and Haiti, as well as the aboriginal people of Panama and Australia. Linda uses a variety of media (acrylic, watercolor, gouache, color pencil, pastel) to work on paper, canvas, and wood. Whether abstract or loosely based on reality, the common thread of all her work is color and graphically pleasing design. Her work is often described as whimsical and happy. Want to see art to make you smile? Come meet Linda from September 6 through September 12 at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
August 30, 2021. Artist Fredrick Craig Franz will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 29 as part of their Artists in Residency program. A 42-year resident of Western North Carolina’s High Country, Frederick ‘Craig’ Franz’s home in Avery County is a landscape artist’s dream. His home is at the foot of rugged Grandfather Mountain and on the northern border of the Pisgah National Forest. Four true seasons visit the High Country each year and provide Craig with unlimited inspiration from which to paint. Working in soft pastels and oils, his award-winning paintings are created both plein air and in the studio.
August 23, 2021. Artist David Collins will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 29 as part of their Artists in Residency program. A self-taught artist and art teacher, David was born in Sebring, Ohio. Having contracted polio as a young child, he passed time drawing, coloring, constructing and painting with watercolor. As an adult, David was able to move forward with his passion for creating and successfully operated an art studio in Lakeland, Florida. In addition to street art in Lakeland, David offers plein air landscapes and studio acrylics.
August 16, 2021. Artist Kathryn Regel will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 22 as part of their Artists in Residency program. Kathryn has been described as a weaver of stories; her work, a unique combination of art, memories and ancestry. Technically, Kathryn combines old family photos with current-day prints to make a story—either real or imagined. She adds images of maps, news clippings, advertisements, sewing patterns, stamps and anything else that she feels go with the stories. She then paints the layers together with acrylic paint to make it seem like a seamless picture. A native of Wisconsin, Kathryn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from the University of Texas and currently resides in North Carolina.
August 16, 2021. The Watauga Arts Council seeks applications for Artist Support Grants for 2021–2022. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2021. These grants support artists in all disciplines with funding for projects that will have a significant impact on the advancement of their professional artistic careers. The Artist Support Grant program is managed through a partnership with North Carolina Arts Council to serve artists in Ashe County, Alleghany County, Watauga County, and Wilkes County. Funding is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council. Artists at any stage of their careers, emerging or established, are eligible to apply for grants in all disciplines, such as visual art and craft, traditional art forms, music composition, film/video, literature and playwriting, and choreography and dance. Types of fundable projects include the creation of new work, purchase of equipment and materials, and professional development workshops.
August 9, 2021. Photographer Cindy McEnery and woodworker Nathan Favors are spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 8 as part of their Artists in Residency program. While Cindy’s love of photography began as a child, her real growth came after she retired from corporate America. From that moment on, she committed herself to the study, practice and work of photography by taking classes in Raleigh, studying with National Geographic photographers in Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Santa Fe, and Portland, and photographing dancers at The Carolina Ballet. Cindy focuses on things around her — nature and landscapes, barns and barn quilts, sunrises and sunsets, and animals and people—including a focus on North Carolina. Each photograph is an attempt to capture life as she sees it at that particular moment. Come and meet Cindy from August 9th through August 15th at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
August 2, 2021. Painters Lee Harper and Tunde Afholayan Famous are spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 8 as part of their Artists in Residency program. Harper has enjoyed a successful career as dancer, choreographer, teacher and artist. A native of Hickory, Harper attended the Juilliard School of Music and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with a degree in dance. In addition to dancing professionally with iconic New York dance studios such as Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Lee enjoyed a long association with the Atlanta Symphony, choreographing works for her professional dance company. Harper’s art work in oil includes still life, dancers, landscapes and more. Come meet Lee from August 2 through August 8 at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock. Famous, a Nigerian-born artist, is considered one of today’s most prolific African contemporary artists. Exploring color as the basis of painting, he infuses spiritualism and symbolism in his powerful, lyrical expressions.
July 26, 2021. Painters Randy Blake Clontz and Kelly Gross are spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 1 as part of their Artists in Residency program. Randy was born in Hickory, NC and showed uncommon artistic ability even as a youth. At the age of 12, he honed his basic art and design skills with a correspondence course through the Famous Artist School for Talented Young People. After pursuing art education in Detroit and work opportunities in Chicago, Randy relocated back home to Hickory in 2002 to create beautiful oil landscapes of the North Carolina mountains. Randy’s commissioned oil portraits appear in private, corporate, and public collections in Chicago, Michigan, California, & North Carolina. If you’ve ever considered commissioning an oil painting, come meet Randy and enjoy his work from July 26th through August 1st at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
July 21, 2021. A schedule change at the Cottage this week brings together two local artists you won’t want to miss: Earl Davis and Waitsel Smith. Both artists work in oils and both capture the beauty of natural landscapes but with very different effect. Come enjoy the contrasting work of both artists from July 19th through July 25th. North Carolina artist Waitsel Smith is a visual artist living in Lenoir with over 30 years experience painting the people and places of North Carolina. Waitsel works in oils and watercolors and is considered a master landscape, portrait and figure painter. Waitsel is also a magazine and television illustrator, including work for the Travel Channel. Come meet Waitsel at Edgewood Cottage from July 19th through July 25th to enjoy his N. C. Wyeth style of painting.
July 19, 2021. The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition is celebrating its milestone 35th anniversary of showcasing contemporary American sculpture in outdoor settings. The competition has become firmly established as a cultural treasure and a significant point of pride for Appalachian State University and the entire region. On Saturday, July 10, under beautiful sunny skies, a crowd of 175 art lovers converged to attend the 35th Annual Rosen Sculpture Walk with juror Rachel Stevens who provided an insightful and educational outdoor tour of the nine sculpture finalists. The tour concluded with an awards presentation to announce the winners of this cherished event. The sculptures in this year’s competition represent a diversity of styles from biomorphic to whimsical to thought-provoking. The artists have expressed their three-dimensional concepts with expert craftsmanship utilizing a variety of materials, designs and techniques to create their sculptures. Each year, an artist is invited to jury the competition and this year juror Rachel Stevens from Missoula, MT selected the sculpture finalists and the winning entries.
July 9, 2021. Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is preparing for its annual fundraising gala on Friday, July 30, which is just three weeks away. This year’s gala is extra special as it is also a celebration of the museum’s 10th Anniversary. “All of our founders, members and long-term staff — everyone is amazed that 10 years have gone by and that we are already celebrating this big birthday,” said Jasmin McFayden, Executive Assistant for BRAHM. “The museum has certainly come a long way since 2011, so we’re excited.” Guests are invited to spend the evening with BRAHM enjoying live music, fine food, good company and a host of diverse and intriguing exhibitions on view throughout the event. By Harley Nefe
July 5, 2021. Local painter Waitsel Smith is the artist in residency from July 5 through July 11 at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock. One artist will fill the walls of Edgewood Cottage this week. North Carolina artist Waitsel Smith is a visual artist living in Lenoir with over 30 years of experience painting the people and places of North Carolina. Waitsel works in oils and watercolors and is considered a master landscape, portrait and figure painter. Waitsel is also a magazine and television illustrator, including work for the Travel Channel.
June 28, 2021. Appalachian State University will host a community COVID-19 vaccine clinic Thursday, July 1, from 9 a.m.– noon in Room 201 (Blue Ridge Ballroom) in Plemmons Student Union (PSU) on the App State campus. Parking will be available in the East Howard Street Lot, behind PSU. The clinic will administer the Moderna vaccine, which is approved for adults ages 18 and older. First and second dose appointments are available. For those who receive a first dose, clinic staff will help schedule your second dose appointment at App State or another location. App State Chancellor Sheri Everts provides a $10 App State Campus Dining gift card to everyone who gets vaccinated at the university’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
June 21, 2021. Two artists will greet visitors at Edgewood Cottage from June 21 through June 27: Lauren Waterworth, Oils, and Cathy Futral, Watercolor and Acrylics. Lauren Waterworth grew up in Watauga County and has lived in Western North Carolina most of her life. She minored in Studio Art at Appalachian State while pursuing a major in Geology. She earned a Master’s Degree in Geology from Texas A&M University and a JD from Tulane University Law School. Lauren takes inspiration from the landscape and the natural world around her. In her painting, she tries to capture that joyous, incongruous feeling of familiarity and surprise, of being very much at home and yet being somewhere else. Come explore and enjoy Lauren’s art this week at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
May 24, 2021 After a pandemic-challenged 2020, 25 talented artists are back in residence at Edgewood Cottage! Each artist has been creating art in their home studios to cover the walls and tables of Edgewood Cottage for their individual week. A different artist (or two) will open the Cottage at 10 a.m. on Mondays, when art lovers can often enjoy art being made on the spot. You’ll find a variety of creations by potters, painters, nature photographers, wood carvers, leather artisans, and fiber artists. They’ll enjoy discussing their art form and their individual journey with you. Who knows? By 5 p.m. closing, you may be so impressed, you’ll walk away with a new family heirloom!
June 7, 2019. The 2019 Ensemble Stage Professional Summer Season gets underway on Friday night with the Deborah Zoe Laufer’s romantic comedy “Fortune.” “Fortune” will be performed from June 7 through June 15 at the Ensemble Stage Professional Theatre in Banner Elk. This is a special moment for Ensemble Stage as it is the season opener but it also marks the North Carolina premiere for “Fortune.” “Fortune” is the story of Maude, a lonely, surly, storefront psychic has accepted that love is not in the cards for her. She can see the future and knows this to be her fate. But when she takes pity on a love-hungry customer whom she tells is destined to the same fate, she decides fate is in need of a real butt-whipping. Thus begins a hilarious and clever, no-holes-barred, wrestling match, pitting love against predestination. By Nathan Ham
March 11, 2019 It will be summer before you know it, and with that will be another year of great shows and performances by Ensemble Stage. Season tickets for Century Club members and 2018 season ticket buyers are already on sale, but if you are a first time season ticket subscriber, you can make your purchases beginning this Saturday, March 16. The cost is $84 for each season ticket or $77 for senior citizens, military veterans and students. Single show ticket purchases will go on sale April 1. Ensemble Stage shows take place at the Historic Banner Elk School, located at 185 Azalea Circle in Banner Elk. By Nathan Ham
February 12, 2019 Each year since 1972, the Ashe County Little Theatre has been a staple of the arts community in the county. The theatre presents three to four plays each year, and this year, the group is expecting to present four productions for your enjoyment. “It’s a wonderful line up with some really diverse offerings,” said Jane Lonon, Executive Director of the Ashe County Arts Council. All shows will be presented at the Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson. The season will begin with the production of “Is He Dead” from March 29-31. Next up will be the summer performance of the Braodway musical “Gypsy” from June 20-24. The third show of the year is set for August 22-25 and will be the production of “Calendar Girls.” The final show of the 2019 Ashe County Little Theatre season will be “Who’s On First” presented October 13-15. By Nathan Ham
June 1, 2018. Ashe County Arts Council has been a leader in promoting the arts in Ashe County and across the region for 40 years and they are having a downtown street festival in celebration. On Saturday, June 2 the Arts Council will present Forty Fest! The Arts Council makes its home in downtown West Jefferson at the Ashe Arts Center, the “hub” of the arts in West Jefferson. The Arts Council moved into the 1930’s WPA building in 1993 after renovating the building to include offices, a gallery space and a gallery shop. The Forty Fest celebration will be set up outside around the Ashe Arts Center with music demonstrating artists, historic displays and children’s activities. There will be food trucks set up in the new parking lot across the street from the Arts Center entrance.
April 17, 2018. A long-standing tradition of presenting an annual musical production enters its 30th year for the Watauga High School drama department. This year, the Playmakers will be presenting “Cinderella Enchanted” starting this Thursday, April 19 and lasting through Saturday, April 21. The musical will take place each night at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the school’s front office from now through opening day. Saturday’s showing will also feature an open gala celebrating 30 years of theater at Watauga High School. Those who have performed in the past are invited to attend. The gala will also honor the directors of the show, Sarah Miller and Zach Walker, who were presented with the North Carolina Theater Conference Excellence in Teaching Award. By Nathan Ham
April 9, 2018. The Children’s Playhouse presents Playhouse BuildFest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 14th at Watauga High School. This free event is part of the 2018 North Carolina Science Festival. There will be a “soft open” for kids with special needs from 9 am-10 am before the event opens to the general public at 10. Now in its fifth year, this free community event regular attracts 1200 kids and parents for a day of learning and fun.
April 6, 2018. The “The Schaefer Center Presents…” performance series, a program of Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, continues its 2017–18 season with a collaborative production of the Tony Award-winning best musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at 7 p.m. on April 13 and 14, and at 2 p.m. on April 15 at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for Appalachian faculty/staff and retired faculty/staff, and $10 for students.
What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.
- Mayland Community College Courses
- Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act
- Grandfather Mountain State Park 2018 Annual Wildflower Walks Free and Open to the Public
- Public Comment Period on Proposal to Move Confederate Monuments to Close, 4/12
- Mayland Community College Plant Swap, 4/28
- Announcing: The First Ever Fundraising Event For Spirit Ride, 5/5
- Watauga County Public Library, Author Visit Program: “Kirk’s Raiders”, 4/19
- JAM Day Planned at Blue Ridge Music Center, 5/19
- Ashe County Marathon Jam, 5/19
- Caldwell Arts Council Call for Artists for “Art Around Caldwell Studio Tour” to be Held 6/23
Compiled by Kate Herman