The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum will celebrate its birthday week Oct. 2-8 this year with a weeklong assortment of free programs and events for all. Whether you’re new to the museum or you’ve long been a friend, there’s no time like Birthday Week to get better acquainted!
When BRAHM opened the doors of its new building on October 1, 2011, it was the culmination of more than a decade of effort put forth by a dedicated group of supporters determined to make the project a success. The Museum was organized in 1999 in response to a Charlotte art collector’s desire to find a permanent home for his collection of works by North Carolina native and seasonal Blowing Rock resident Elliott Daingerfield, who was a significant American artist at the turn of the 20th century. Five years later the Museum has grown its permanent collection to encompass art from American contemporaries of Elliott Daingerfield as well as other regional artists and artisans. BRAHM has hosted well-received exhibitions highlighting local history and culture as well as critically-acclaimed artists and photographers.
BRAHM is located at 159 Chestnut Street in downtown Blowing Rock. The museum aims to provide cultural enrichment to the High Country communities by promoting the arts and Southern Appalachian heritage and history through educational programs, exhibitions, activities and permanent collections.
Admission is waved this week in light of the museum’s birthday celebration, ensuring that no one will have to miss out on the fun. Read on to check out what’s going on this week!
Call the museum at 828-295-9099 for more information or click over to blowingrockmuseum.org.
Alexander Arts Lecture: Leslie Breck and the Birth of American Impressionism
Sunday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. with Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman
The 2016 Alexander Arts Lecture features Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Stuhlman will present a talk “John Leslie Breck and the Birth of American Impressionism”.
“In 1887, Boston artist John Leslie Breck was one of the first American artists to visit Giverny, France, the home of renowned French Impressionist Claude Monet,” Dr. Stuhlman explained. “Breck soon became one of the earliest American artists to embrace this radical new movement, which focused on color, light, and immediate reactions to the natural world and modern life rather than more traditional academic approaches to realism and the use of historical and religious subjects. Breck was also one of the first artists to introduce this new style of painting to American audiences.”
Inspired by the Mint Museum’s recent acquisition of Breck’s 1888 painting Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing, this talk will explore Breck’s work within the context of both European and American Impressionism, considering the work of Monet as well as that of John Singer Sargent, Dennis Miller Bunker, Lila Cabot Perry, Theodore Robinson, Philip Leslie Hale, and others.
The lecture will take place October 2, 2016, at 4 p.m. in the Alexander Community Room of the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. The event is free and open to the public.
Afternoon Art Club for Ages 6-10
Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Children ages 6 – 10 are invited to join for creative art-making activities through a variety of media, from watercolor to clay.
Space is limited, reservation required. Email: [email protected]
Finding Your Way Home: Stories of True-Life Adventures and Mountain Roots
Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 7-8 p.m. with Connie Regan-Blake
As part of celebrations for its fifth birthday, the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum presents Finding Your Way Home: Stories of True-Life Adventures and Mountain Roots, an evening of live storytelling for adults with Connie Regan-Blake.
“We are beyond thrilled to have Connie Regan-Blake performing at the museum,” says Education and Outreach Director Leila Weinstein. “She is one of this country’s most well-known storytellers, and actually played a large role in the revival of live storytelling in the 1970s.” Regan-Blake has captivated the hearts and imaginations of people around the globe with her powerful performances and workshops. She was a founding board member of the National Storytelling Association and is a frequent host and featured performer at the National Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. In Finding your Way Home, Regan-Blake will tell stories from all over the world: from the mountains of North Carolina to Uganda and New Zealand. With engaging humor and southern charm, she will take the audience on a journey as she weaves traditional folktales of Appalachia with true life adventures for a unique and entertaining performance.
“Someone told me once that these days, when adults see the word ‘storytelling,’ they think of someone reading aloud from children’s storybooks – and I think that might be true. Seeing live storytelling performed by a skilled storyteller, however, is something very different. It can be a wonderfully magical experience – transporting us to faraway times and places, yet also reminding us of familiar experiences and emotions. Sometimes, it can even be transformative. If you have never seen a live storytelling performance for adults, I strongly recommend that you join us on October 5,” says Weinstein.
In addition to the evening performance for adults on Wednesday, BRAHM will be hosting a school-day performance for Watauga County 7th and 8th graders on the morning of Thursday October 6, in which Connie Regan-Blake will present the middle schoolers with spellbinding stories – from hair-raising chillers to humorous mountain characters.
Finding Your Way Home is on Wednesday October 5 at 7 p.m. The performance will last approximately one hour and is aimed at an adult audience. Admission is free. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served. Both performances are supported by a grant from the Mast General Store.
Connie Regan-Blake is one of America’s most celebrated storytellers. She has captivated the hearts and imaginations of people around the globe with her powerful performances and workshops. Entertaining audiences in 46 states and 14 countries, she brings the wisdom, humor and drama of stories to main stage concert halls, libraries and into the corporate world.
Both as a solo artist and a member of the acclaimed Folktellers duo, Connie has been featured on seven award-winning recordings – five audio and two videos produced by PBS. New Age Magazine, School Library Journal, and Southern Living have praised her work. She has been a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered, ABC Good Morning America and CNN.
When Connie takes the stage she generates a brightness and warmth, drawing in listeners with her engaging humor and Southern charm. Her stories range from hilarious traditional Appalachian Mountain tales to poignant true-life drama. A consummate professional, Connie’s rare talent can transform a convention hall into a wondrous landscape and turn a packed theater into an intimate circle of friends.
Connie has performed at the nation’s top folk music and storytelling festivals in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, as well as the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. Her groundbreaking collaboration with the Kandinsky Trio – an innovative blend of storytelling and chamber music – has been hailed as a “new art form.”
As a founding board member of the National Storytelling Association (formerly NAPPS), and a frequent host and featured performer at the National Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Connie helped ignite and shape the American storytelling revival.
Connie resides with her husband, two dogs and a frisky cat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
Doodlebug Club for Preschoolers
Thursday, Oct. 6 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and from 1-2 p.m.
Preschool-age children and a parent/guardian are invited to Doodlebug Club — a fun, educational art program focused on basic art skills (holding your paintbrush, identifying primary colors, etc.) while introducing children to different art media, from watercolor to clay. After clean-up it is storytime! This program is a great way to introduce your child to art and meet other children and parents.
Space is limited, reservation required.
RSVP to [email protected] or call 828-295-9099.
Scholars and Scones: Blue Ridge Conquistadors: The Story of the Berry Site and the Exploring Joara Foundation
Thursday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. ($5 suggested donation)
It might be hard to believe, but the southern Appalachians became the linchpin for the future of Spanish colonialism in what is now known as the United States. This talk will explore why Juan Pardo’s 1567 mission was so important and how archaeologists are now able to tell the tale. Find out ways that you can become a vital part of the story!
The presenter Melissa Timo, MA, RPA is a Staff Archaeologist at the Exploring Joara Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to promoting public archaeology in the upper Catawba and Yadkin river valleys of western North Carolina. Its mission is to support research, education, and outreach on preservation of the area’s past.
The talk will be accompanied by locally roasted coffee from Hatchet Coffee Company and locally baked goods!