'Appalachian Art – Past To Present' Opens Nov. 23 - Brevard NC


Last updated 11/14/2018 at 3:57pm

This painting by Ann DerGara will be part of the Appalachian Art show. (Courtesy photo)

In honor of the City of Brevard's 150th Anniversary, the Transylvania Community Arts Council will host a new exhibit entitled "Appalachian Art - Past to Present." The public is invited to the opening reception on Friday, Nov. 23, as part of the Brevard Thanksgiving Gallery Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will run Nov. 23 through Dec. 21.

Kay Anderson, gallery manager at TC Arts, said, "The exhibit, 'Appalachian Art - Past to Present,' focuses on the artistic influences within our region which evolves from tradition to transcendence. Contemporary artists have a wealth of historic works on which to draw."

Earliest among the items on display is a collection of wood carvings. Both the Brass-town Carvers at the John C. Campbell Folk School and Cherokee Indians' carvings are included. These are contrasted with the contemporary work of local artist Chuck Kidwell, who was recently accepted into the Southern Highland Handcraft Guild. Kidwell hitchhiked, in his youth, from Florida to North Carolina, and then Tennessee, where he was first exposed to woodcarving in Gatlinburg. There are the musical instruments, in a variety of woods, created by Preston Woodruff.

Tradition is exemplified by the artistic work of Ann DeGara and her son, Eric, who are each displaying their prints and paintings. Ann has not only taught her son, but she continues to influence her students - Alana Merrell and Maureen Chapman - and to praise their work as well. Tradition passes on to the next generation.

Quilters from the See-Off Community exemplify their sewing skills by binding together their individually-pieced works and gathering weekly for a quilting bee. Elizabeth Galloway has quilts both from their current work and their collections. From the Allison-Deaver House, there is a Friendship Quilt pieced by local women in 1857 and signed by each quilter. Contemporary quilts contrast with the traditional. Fiber artists Barbara Miller and Becky Garrison will have their hand-woven items on display.

Baskets by Joe Siniard, who ran a local dry goods store, are loaned by Gladys Taylor, his daughter. These baskets not only supplemented his family's income, but they also provided utilitarian objects purchased by local residents for tasks as simple as collecting eggs. Baskets by Bonnie Jean Bertlshofer, a founding member of Number 7 Arts, demonstrate a variety of styles. Also on display will be Cherokee baskets from the collection of Robin and Jack Eubanks.

Furniture pieces made by both Walter Cantrell and Albert Williams are loaned by Mary Rose. Chairs restored by Fred Mehlin, a self-taught, chair-caner, have been restored with oak, reed or cane. A stool made by Avril Woody of Spruce Pine is rewoven, as well as historic chairs, on display, from both South and North Carolina with seats of hickory and cowhide.

Contemporary artists' works include Lucy Clark's pottery and photography. Cathryn Cooper, who works in several mediums, contributes graphite drawings. Kristen Neces-sary, a printmaker, brings her serigraphs and cards. Wood-carved prints by Fannie Mennen, an original member of the Southern Highland Handcraft Guild, compliment Kristen's prints.

Carol Norby, book-maker, offers fiber vessels. One of Christine Kosiba's sculptures has a similarity to a Cherokee carving of a bird holding a seed in its mouth. Pastel artist Laurel John and mixed media artist Deborah Kidwell will also have work on display.

Photographers Paula Swartz and Sue Hershey display Appalachian influ-ences in their art. The family of Joseph Wilde, of Balsam Grove, has loaned both his early camera and photos, which include views of local venues and residents in Transylvania.

Glass bowls by Chaffe McIlhenny transcend the utilitarian use of glass to a visual art form. Bob Hauser's whirligigs, moved by a breeze, bring a folk art influence.

Pottery by Rodney Leftwich illustrates the knowledge gained by his study with the Pisgah Pottery tradition. Additional potters include examples of family tradition passed from father, John O. Dodson, to his son, John E. Dodson. Will Weigle and Jason Serres, self-proclaimed mudslingers, will exhibits their skills.

Prints and drawings from Tim Murray's estate, represented by The Haen Gallery, will provide an overview of his evolving art exploration in a variety of mediums and styles. His educational contributions to students at Brevard College spread an artistic tradition to another generation.

The goal of this exhibit is to contrast traditional influences on contemporary artists' work. Defining the nebulous line between "What is craft and what is art?" is always a question. To view this exhibit will challenge viewers to ponder this debate for themselves. Appalachian art transcends!

The TC Arts Council is located at 349 S. Caldwell St. in Brevard. The gallery is open Monday – Friday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. A second reception will be held on Friday, Dec. 21, for the Holiday Gallery Walk. For more information, call TC Arts Council at (828) 884-2787 or email tcarts@comporium.net. To learn more about the TC Arts Council, go to http://www.tcarts.org.


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