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Watauga Arts Council Shares Latest News and Prepares for Upcoming Programming

The Watauga Arts Council has been very busy planning for upcoming summer exhibits, and the staff is eager to begin providing enriching programming and classes for the community’s enjoyment.

According to the latest newsletter, here is what the Watauga Arts Council has going on.

This weekend, the beloved community event Empty Bowls is happening. Empty Bowls in an annual fundraising event hosted by the Watauga High School Art Department. The proceeds go to the Hunger and Health Coalition, a food pantry that helps High Country residents who struggle with food insecurity.

However, the event will look a little different this year, as it will be a simplified version of the traditional Empty Bowls. Due to safety precautions with COVID-19, there will not be a soup-eating, social experience, but beautiful bowls and t-shirts will still be offered.

This will be a two-day event to spread people out for social distancing purposes and will take place on Saturday, April 24, 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the King Street Art Collective located at 585 West King Street, Boone, NC 28607, just above Doe Ridge Pottery. Masks are required.

“We feel so blessed to have the Blue Ridge ArtSpace and King Street Art Collective and want these spaces to be used for collaborative, creative purposes,” said Amber Bateman, Watauga Arts Council Director. “We hope to see more of this in the future.”

Interested participants can get their tickets for Empty Bowls here.

Preparations are also underway for an upcoming Drawing Exhibit and a Youth Art Exhibit in May, and the Watauga Arts Council has put out a call for artists. The Watauga Arts Council has been hard at work finding ways to help artists showcase their work. For example, in the near future, the Watauga Arts Council will be looking for sculptors, printmakers, artists in residence opportunities, musicians and more.

Therefore, artists are encouraged to submit an artist profile form, which gives the Watauga Arts Council an opportunity to know more about different artists in the community and how they would like to be engaged. The Watauga Arts Council uses submissions to advocate on behalf of artists and to be able to invite them to perform or participate in exhibits and community groups.

The Watauga Arts Council is happy to offer their space for arts-centered community groups, and community members are invited to join an existing group or start a new one. 

An example of a community art group that is in the works of beginning is the Plein Air Group. Plein Air painting refers to on-site, outdoor painting. 

Earl Davis is a seasoned oil painter who loves outdoor painting, and he is interested in starting a Plein Air Painting Group for people of all levels. Therefore, the Watauga Arts Council is hosting an information session to discuss starting a Plein Air Painting Group by talking about the idea for the group, structure, places to paint and days and times to meet up. 

The initial information meeting is scheduled to take place next Tuesday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, and to RSVP for the session, email info@watauga-arts.org

The Watauga Arts Council also hosts other groups such as the Yarn Circle (Monday and Wednesdays 1-4 p.m. at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace), Jewelry Guild (Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.), Banjo Buddies (Thursdays 12 p.m.) and High Country Writers Society (currently meeting virtually).

If community members are interested in starting an art group or need a space to meet, they are encouraged to reach out to the Watauga Arts Council.

The Watauga Arts Council has numerous art exhibitions going on as well. One involves a partnership with the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative to present a show called Art After ACEs for artists who participate in Faces of ACEs. Centered around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), folks who are open to it share how childhood trauma impacted their lives and how their resilience and support systems helped them overcome their trauma experiences. The exhibit is being held at Cheap Joe’s Art Supply Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other current and future exhibits are showcasing pieces from App State art students who have been hard at work. The public can now see the senior art students apply all the things they have learned over the past four years. The Watauga Arts Council has three different senior classes installing work from now through May 16. Between April 15 and April 24, is the Graphic Design Senior Show. Then from April 26 to May 9 is the Industrial Design Senior Show. Following that is the Fine Arts Senior Show during May 10 and May 16. All of these exhibits are taking place at the King Street Art Collective.

The Watauga Arts Council is also offering weekly art classes for adults, teens and youth with instructors that are ready to teach groups and private lessons. Interested participants can check out the classes offered here.

With that being said, if someone has an interest in teaching a class or workshop, the Watauga Arts Council would love to hear from them. The classes or workshops on art, music, crafts, lectures, professional development and more. Specific areas the Watauga Arts Council are looking for instructors in include General Art Classes or Workshops, Teen/Youth Programming, Special Needs Art Classes, Spanish Speaking Art Teachers, Trauma-Sensitive Classes/Art Groups and Music Classes.

As the Watauga Arts Council looks to increase its presence in the community, staff realize they need people to help drive quality programming and initiatives. They are in search of a committed group of instructors and artists who are passionate about the arts in the community and are willing to help advance the cause. More information can be found here, and the instructor application is linked here.

Last but not least, the Watauga Arts Council is inviting everyone to get involved with the organization as help is needed in the following areas: 

  • General Volunteers to help as needed
  • 40-Year Anniversary Helper
  • Donor Management, Fundraising Support, Grant Writing
  • Communications/Marketing
  • Administrative Support
  • King Street Art Collective Leader 
  • Gallery Committee
  • Programming

Volunteer opportunities can be found here along with the volunteer registration form

As always, donations help the Watauga Arts Council continue the good work that is being done, and here is a link for those feeling inclined to help. 

Any further questions can be directed to the Watauga Arts Council at 828-264-1789, by emailing info@watauga-arts.org or visiting the website at https://www.watauga-arts.org/#/