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TONIGHT: Head to Boone for a Night on the Town as First Friday Art Crawl Returns This Weekend

By Jessica Isaacs | jessica@highcountrypress.com

With the university back in full swing for the semester and fall weather on its way, the High Country now begins a transition from one season of excitement to another. The same can be said for Boone’s popular First Friday Art Crawl series, which will be back with something new for everyone on Sept. 2.

Shops, restaurants, galleries and community centers come together for extended hours and special events during this event on the first Friday evening of every month, encouraging folks in the area to hit the streets for a night on the town and soak up the thriving cultural scene that lives in the community.

First Friday festivities kick off around 6 p.m. and often continue through 8 p.m., although some establishments and events will choose to keep longer hours.

"The Authority of the Book." Cliffton Meador
“The Authority of the Book.” Clifton Meador

While you’re out and about this time around, visit Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, 423 W. King St., which will feature a book arts panel with Clifton Meador, Philip Zimmerman, Kang Seung Lee and April Flanders at 5 p.m., followed by the center’s fall exhibition celebration from 6-10 p.m.

New exhibitions that will be unveiled Friday night include:

  • Earthbound/Ethereal Nexus: John Roth
  • The Authority of the Book

This work explores the possibilities of creating critical/queer history by researching, excavating, and appropriating images and texts from various public and private archives such as art collections, publications, libraries, etc.

Be sure to swing by to see what’s new at the Jones House Community and Cultural Center, a celebrated historic home that sits at the heart of life in Boone. The Jones House gallery will open a new show from the nonprofit Mountain Peacemakers organization entitled “Visions of Peace,” a juried art show that explores various expressions of peace as portrayed in diverse artistic form and medium. The show will represent the work with peace and community of three organizations: Orchesis Expressive Arts Honors Society, the Elkland Arts Center and Blackburn Chapel.

Brandon Holder, Jones House gallery representative, said First Friday events are a great way to get in on the excitement of a new show.

“Often, while it may be installed a couple of days before, it’s really like the first showing. While the exhibits stay here for a month at a time, First Fridays are always like a reception,” he said. “The artists show up with friends and family and sometimes it’s pretty full. People can come in throughout the week and on Saturdays to see the show, but First Friday is kind of like the grand opening of the exhibit that’s going to run throughout the month.”

Embroidery by Lauren Gioscio-Park

Holder said the natural wonders of the High Country go hand in hand with the thriving culture of arts in the Boone community, which is enjoyed by many during First Friday events.

“Personally, I think it’s because of the natural area. What attracted me initially was the traditional music scene here,” he said. “If you’re a photographer or a landscape painter, wouldn’t you want to live somewhere you could look out the window and see something that might inspire you to make art?”

Lucky Penny boutique, located at 693 W. King St., will feature artist Lauren Gioscio-Park and her work from 6-9 p.m. on First Friday.

“Some of my favorite things to do are to arrange and organize, and so the embroidery process has become near and dear to my heart because of its intricacy and the amount of detail it requires,” Gioscio-Park told Lucky Penny. “As a mom, my life doesn’t have room for much organization these days, because toddlers don’t care about being tidy! Needlework has become my organized creative space that I allow myself to indulge in during my son’s ever-dwindling nap times. Each piece is hand-drawn by me and then hand-stitched with great care. The hoop becomes the frame for the needlework, but can be easily removed for cleaning or more traditional framing. All of my pieces are one-of-a-kind and are lovingly made.”

Visit downtownboonenc.com for more information.

Other First Friday happenings:

Lost Province on Depot St. – Live music 7:30 pm to closing with Folk and Dagger.  Folk and Dagger are a folk rock group from Boone, NC featuring soulful harmonies with songs focusing on love, life, marriage, children, annoying co-workers, and the occasional need to carry whiskey in one’s purse.  lostprovince.com  
Old World Galleries on W. King St. –  Old World Galleries will be featuring their own jewelry artist, Morgan Shaw, who will discuss the merits of repairing jewelry versus re-designing jewelry; and portrait artist, Jane Miller, will be available to review photographs of loved ones that may be suitable for her oil on canvas portrait paintings. Join your friends at OWG for an evening of art, learning, and refreshments. oldworldgalleries.com 
Hands Gallery on W. King St.  Hands Gallery will be featuring bead artist, Sherry Marder, during the month of September. Sherry’s beadwork is breathtaking; intricate designs of fine woven bead colors offered in necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Stop by Hands Gallery to view a demonstration of Sherry creating her intricate jewelry and to enjoy light refreshments. handsgallery.org 
Embroidery by Lauren Gioscio-Park
Embroidery by Lauren Gioscio-Park