We have a fair share of art galleries and studios in the High Country area. There is always something to do, somewhere to go, and something to see. Whether you choose to walk downtown in Boone on King’s Street or to make your way South to Main Street in Blowing Rock, you will hardly run out of art things to do.
Recently, I took a trip over the hill to our neighbors in Blowing Rock. They have a wonderful little downtown that is full of great shops, art galleries, and unique restaurants. A special treat for art lovers is located at the end of the historic Main Street, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, otherwise known as BRAHM. The museum has been opened at this location since 2011 and features a 23,000 square-foot facility that includes six galleries, an education center, an orientation theater, and a community meeting room. They house a large permanent collection including many works by Elliot Daingerfield, as well as, hosting traveling exhibits and providing other educational programs. The mission of BRAHM is to promote the visual arts, and to preserve the history and heritage of the western North Carolina mountain communities.
The purpose of this visit was to check out the Watercolor Society of North Carolina 2012 Traveling Watercolor Exhibit which has been a special guest of the museum’s since late last year. This small but impressive group of 30 paintings was selected from the main exhibit of 75 entries that make up the 2012 WSNC juried show. The exhibit was quite diverse with a wide variety of watercolor techniques displayed. From traditional transparent watercolor use to a more painterly oil like application. The subject matter was varied as well, with flowers, landscapes, figures, animals, and abstracts all with a story to tell. Each work of art is an expression of the artist who created it. All as unique as the people behind them. Many of the artists are known throughout the state and have been members of the society for years. The WSNC was chartered back in 1972 with only 18 members and now has a membership of over 500 North Carolina artists. To see the complete show and the award winners, please visit their website. You can also find more information about the Watercolor Society of North Carolina, their mission, and how to become a member. This exhibit serves as a preview to the 2013 WSNC annual conference juried exhibit that will be hosted in Blowing Rock at BRAHM later this year in September.
A very special local artist, very dear to our hearts, is now a signature member of the WSNC. Joe Miller,or “Cheap Joe”, to most, has earned his Signature Membership, this year, by having his third painting entitled, “The Art of Pharmacy”, accepted into the 2012 WSNC juried show. The painting is a part of the traveling show visiting BRAHM. Joe is very proud to be part of this large group of distinguished artists from North Carolina who support and promote art programs and art groups all over the state. Joe and Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff are advocates to the art community both local and nationwide. We believe it is necessary to further cultivate the production of art and to preserve it for the generations to come.
Check out some of the ways to LOVE your local arts:
L- Leave Art Behind- Pass on your art passion by teaching another.
O- Offer your time, monetary support, or guidance by joining local art groups.
V- Visit Art Galleries and Museums and become a member to support the Arts.
E- Encourage others to make art and support them by going to art events like plays, concerts, or art shows in your area.
There are many creative ways that you can support your local arts. By donating money, your time, being active in an arts group or just visiting a museum in your area to appreciate the exhibits. A membership to a museum is more than just a entry ticket, it provides you with several benefits in addition to free admission, like invitations to special events and exhibit receptions, discounts for workshops and classes offered by the facility, even educational lectures and seminars. You can also be proud that you are supporting a cultural resource of your community that offers education and enrichment for the region, as well as, helping to preserve your area’s art history for the generations to come. You can support the arts in your neighborhood by attending plays and musicals produced by your local theater groups or by enjoying a concert of your favorite local band or musicians. Taking an art workshop or class supports the arts and provides you with new ideas and knowledge of the many techniques and mediums that are offered. You can donate to a local charity like Brushes For Vincent, which provides art supplies to children in need. This is a great way to help enrich a child’s life and make a difference through art!
So with the many options, today, to be active in your local arts, don’t hesitate to venture out and see what is offered in your area. You’ll never know what you will find until you look. Just think of all of the things you can do and share with a special someone, grandchild, or that best friend that means so much to you. Pass on your love for art by taking someone to an art museum, or a play, or a class, or maybe to an art gallery. You might just spark an interest in a future budding artist!
Have a Happy “Love Your Local Arts” Day!