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Explore the Local Arts Community Saturday at the Spring Into Summer ArtsFest in Boone


By Jessica Isaacs

Celebrate the High Country’s rich arts community this weekend with the Watauga Arts Council at its second annual Spring Into Summer ArtsFest on Saturday.

Hosted outside at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace, 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone, the festivities will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., bringing a world of creativity and expression for festivalgoers to explore.

With more than three times the artists that participated last year, Saturday’s event will get community members and aspiring creators together with accomplished artists for conversation and demonstrations. Live music on the front porch starting at 11 a.m. will top off this day of family-friendly fun, which is sure to offer something for artists and enthusiasts of all ages.

Free and open to the public, WCAC Executive Director Cherry Johnson said the ArtsFest is a great way to get people involved in the ArtSpace.

“It’s an opportunity for folks to find the Blue Ridge ArtSpace and find out about the arts council — to explore our arts community,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of artists participating this year. Woodcarving, baskets, pottery, fibers — there are all kinds of things you can get involved with.”

If you’ve never visited the ArtSpace or learned about the High Country arts community, Johnson said this event is the perfect way for you to get started.

“You’ll meet not just a bunch of wonderful local artists, but you’ll be able to hear some entertainment, get to know the folks from the arts council and learn more about what we do,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the ArtsFest is one more way to celebrate local artists and the invaluable role they play in our community.

“The arts document your whole community. The feel, the flavor, the history of who we are,” she said. “That’s the story that the arts tell.”

The festival will feature storytelling (beginning at 2 p.m.), interactive arts activities for children and a silent auction of work donated by participating artists.

InVisible Theatre and Ensemble Stage will be there to share information about their upcoming season.

Boy Scout Troop 109 will help you find parking in the lot across the street when you arrive and will be selling food items including hot dogs, hamburgers, homemade ice cream and Dutch Oven apple cobbler. Drinks and fresh kettle corn will be sold, too.

Members of Potters of the Blue Ridge, a newly formed association of clay artists, will be demonstrating and selling their work. You’ll also get to meet members of the Blue Ridge Fiber Guild, which will demonstrate art forms, including weaving and spinning, throughout the day.

Follow the arts council on Facebook for previews of work that will be available.

Featured artists and work will include:

  • Pottery from Theresa McGrath, Emelita Allen, Shipyard Earthworks (Keith Lambert and Willie Baucom), Dottie Baker, Nancy Graham, Claire Lenahan, Sarah Papp and Cindy Pacileo/Little Guys
  • Fiber artists Debbie Passalacqua (crocheting), Sarah Wiley (crocheted hats), Donna Leavitt (knitting and felting) and Pam Washer (unique handcrafted bags)
  • Handcrafted jewelry by Francine Barr, Sheila Chapdelaine, Theresa McGrath and Debbie Passalacqua
  • Woodworking varieties from hand-turned bowls and ornaments to hand-carved folk art from Philip Wylie, George Katsoudas, John Travers and Bill Baldwin
  • Folk art from John Travers, Bill Baldwin and Emelita Allen
  • Other arts and crafts including stone sculptures by Ken Broderick, baskets created by Pat Moritz and Cathey Purvey, mixed media by Ireri Krueger and photography by Frank Young

Visit the arts council online for more information.

Below are a few examples of work from artists that will be featured on Saturday:

Sarah Papp
Pam Washer
Phil Wylie
Pat Moritz
Dottie Baker
Shipyard Earthworks
Shipyard Earthworks
Francine Barr
Claire Lenahan