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LETTERS / A Hidden Treasure Amongst Us

Dear Editor,
I feel compelled to bring news to our town and county that there is a hidden treasure amongst us.  I say hidden because not everyone seems to know that the Watauga Arts Council has moved from the Jones House further up King Street. It is now in the green building where Paolucci’s Restaurant is,  between Murphy’s Irish Pub and The Mellow Mushroom.  This wonderful new space is afforded to the Watauga Arts Council through the generosity of Kenneth Wilcox, Roger Wright, and John Winkler, which is true testimony of their philanthropy and dedication to the arts.  What a wonderful gift to our town and county!
In this great space the Arts Council offers a monthly show featuring a local artist.  In addition to that there is the “Serendipity Gallery” where more local artists have their own space to show their talent.  That is not all!  Now the Gallery has a gift shop!  Local artists like myself are represented there and you can find items such as pottery, jewelry, baskets, CD’s by local musicians and a whole lot more!  Keep this in mind when you are shopping for Christmas.  There is really nothing better than shopping local and buying local handmade works of art for the folks on your list! 
I have been volunteering for the past few months and it has been such a pleasure to take part in the arts once again, as a retired art teacher.  I have enjoyed meeting the people who have also dedicated their time and talents to this wonderful organization.  I’ve made a couple of friends that I’ve really become fond of and I truly enjoy getting to see them and spend time with the entire group of volunteers.  When you work with these people, you feel like you have a new family of friends. 
Cherry Johnson, the director, has given me a lot of enjoyment as she makes me feel like I’m an important part of her team.  Cherry is so full of energy that it’s contagious!  She’s always got great ideas that she likes to bounce off those of us who are involved and she is also eager to hear our ideas and use them.  I believe Cherry is sort of a hidden treasure herself.  The Watauga Arts Council is alive and well because she has been so dedicated and believes in what she does.  She is such a valuable member of our entire community because she is very serious about making art a part of all of our lives here in Boone and surrounding counties.  I am excited to be a part of her team and I look forward to participating in the plans and projects she has in mind for the future!  There are so many exciting things coming in the next year; I hope you will keep your eyes and ears open.  One of the best ways to do that is to become a member of the Watauga Arts Council. You can come to the Gallery and Gift Shop to join or visit the website:  http://watauga-arts.org.  Things yet to come are something you will want to be a part of!
Come by the Watauga Arts Council Gallery and Gift Shop for the Art Crawl this Friday and see what I’m talking about.  More volunteers are always needed, welcome and believe me, appreciated.  I promise you will enjoy being a part of this special family of art lovers!  You will also be able to be a part of the wonderful and valuable things that the Arts Council is providing our community.
Grace C. Dorsey
Boone, NC