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The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk Is Happy to be Open Again for Art Lovers

Howard Murry (1891-1968), a prolific artist painted in the North Carolina mountains from 1930’s until his death in 1968.

By Nathan Ham

Art galleries are one of many non-essential businesses that were able to reopen last weekend during Phase 1 of Governor Roy Cooper’s plan to get the North Carolina economy back and running slowly but surely.

The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, owned by Mike and Pam McKay, is ready for art lovers to come walking through the door.

“We’re seeing some traffic. Last year was great and this year started out great,” said Mike. “We’re open normal hours and by appointment to meet everyone’s needs.”

Mike quickly pointed out that being at an art gallery is almost like having built-in social distancing where people are spread out taking in each wonderful piece of art.

Sarah Myers is the Art Cellar Gallery Director and she too is ready to see some friendly faces make their way back to Banner Elk.

“We’re very happy to be back open and we would love to see some people. We are cleaning, we are sanitizing and we have everything we need to make people feel as comfortable as possible,” Myers said.

As of now, Sarah says that their current show schedule will continue as planned, however, they will not be holding any artist reception events or anything like that with a lot of people showing up.

“We are hoping to have some impromptu gatherings as things allow,” she added.

The first gallery show of the season features artist Howard Murry and ceramic creations by Ronan Kyle Peterson and Teresa Pietsch.

Murry was a local artist born in 1891 that spent quite a bit of his life from the 1930s through the 1960s painting areas around Valle Crucis and other parts of the High Country. Murry painted until his death in 1968.

These two exhibits will be on display through June 13.

The Art Cellar Gallery’s normal hours are from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The gallery is located at 920 Shawneehaw Ave. in Banner Elk.

Sarah Myers, Art Cellar Gallery Director
The gallery is located at 920 Shawneehaw Ave. in Banner Elk

Strange Growth Stump Jar by Ronan Kyle Peterson
Pocket Vase by Teresa Pietsch