The Blue Ridge ArtSpace, a community arts hub filled with four galleries, classrooms, and a Gift Shop, is the home of the Watauga County Arts Council. During the month of September, the Main Gallery will feature an eclectic collection of works of art from the group called Studio 12. Co-founded in January 2011 by Anne Welch and Judy Prevost, Studio 12 members meet monthly at the Caldwell Arts Council to critique each other’s work and to encourage an exchange of ideas for becoming better and more prolific painters. Periodic field trips to museums and other points of artistic interest contribute to the artists’ awareness of new ideas, materials and techniques.
The group’s 13-member roster includes seasoned artists who have enjoyed former careers in teaching, nursing, journalism, marketing, the military and other fields. They have been brought together by a common desire to increase their productivity and to fine-tune their individual levels of expertise as painters. Members work in watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, pastel and mixed media and represent a wide range of subject matter and styles.
Studio 12 averages two group exhibits per year in a variety of venues, such as the Art Depot in Abingdon, VA, the Highland Coffee House in Lenoir and As Time Goes By, an art and music store in Valdese. Individual members also exhibit their work in many other galleries, including Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock, Turpin Gallery at Appalachian State College in Boone, and at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff in Boone. Most Studio 12 members are also active in High Country Watermedia Society in Boone and Brush and Palette in Lenoir. Exhibiting in this show will be Anne Welch, Judy Prevost, Toni Indicott, Carole Childers, Marti Kardol, Joanne Moore, Angela White. Shirley Story, and Jan Pennell.
The Open Door Gallery is featuring a fun joint exhibition presented by The Warped Weavers and The Crackpots of the Western Watauga Community Center in Sugar Grove. Participants in Susan Sharpe’s weaving class call themselves “The Warped Weavers”. Classes are self-paced and the weavers select which type of weaving project they prefer based on their skill level and interest. On larger floor looms they create rag rugs and larger wearables. On the smaller looms many scarves, shawls, placements, and table runners are produced using a variety of colors and patterns. Specialized looms such as the Inkle Loom are used for weaving guitar and banjo straps while beginners can quickly create a “mug rug” on a table loom.
The co-exhibiting group, “The Crackpots” have been working together for at least thirty years. For the past three years the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts has supported the program by purchasing glazes and equipment. All participants are senior adults who enjoy working together in a creative environment. The potters continually learn from one another in an open studio environment with Bill Harmon managing the firing process. All clay pieces are handbuilt using the slab, coil, and pinching techniques. Many are textured using lace, carving, and leaves and flowers from nature.
During September the Serendipity Gallery artists are urging the seasons along as they present an exhibition of works entitled “Autumn Beauty”. Artists who exhibit in this gallery participants in art classes at the Lois E. Harrell Senior Center in Boone and the Western Watauga Community Center in Cove Creek. Art classes are taught by Marsha Holmes and are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Young Artists Gallery will feature the work work of the Kids of ArtMart. John Bond, a former board and advisory council member of the Watauga County Arts Council, is showcasing the work of his students at the Art Mart Academy in Boone. John teaches children’s, teens and adult art classes. The work that will be exhibited will be works created by students from 6 to 16 from the Art 1, Art2, and Teen seminar programs.
The Blue Ridge ArtSpace will celebrate these exhibitions at an open reception on Saturday, September 14th at their location at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone. The 2nd Saturday Celebration of the Arts is a free, family friendly event. Refreshments are served. Participants are welcomed from 5:30-7:30 pm and the Gift Shop is also open during the event.
Besides the four new exhibitions, each of the four classrooms of the building will also feature interesting demonstrating artists and participatory activities. This month’s activities feature gelli plate printing with Jennifer Ritter, a book signing by Bart Bare plus live music performed by Banjo Buddies. Banjo Buddies is a free opportunity for anyone wanting to learn to play banjo or to brush up on their skills to participate in a jam-style session. Banjo Buddies meet on Fridays from 1:30-2:30 at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace and enjoy meeting and playing on the porch in warmer weather.
For more information, sign up on the Watauga County Arts Council’s website to receive monthly updates, check their website at www.watauga-arts.org, watch their Facebook and Instagram pages, or come by the Blue Ridge ArtSpace at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone. You may also call them at 828-264-1789.