Boone, NC- The Appalachian Theatre has unique film screenings lined up for the month of February. These events include post-film discussions with prominent North Carolina filmmakers. The screenings are presented by The Appalachian Theatre’s new year-round film series, Boone Docs. This series provides a unique lens to view the world through. Boone Docs showcases unique and emerging filmmakers throughout the world and celebrates creative film.
FEBRUARY FILM SCREENINGS:
Tuesday February 16th at 6 p.m: The Appalachian Theatre presents Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story. Grandma Emma Gatewood was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 after raising 11 children and surviving domestic abuse. Before she died in 1973, she had hiked the Appalachian Trail several times, completed hikes in Oregon, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. The documentary film is followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Bette Lou Higgins. This screening is an Appalachian State University Forum Lecture Series event in partnership with Boone Docs. The event is virtual. Tickets are free.
Link to trailer:
Sunday February 21st at 3 p.m: The Appalachian Theatre presents Thumbs Up For Mother Universe! This film is a 95-minute documentary about the life and work of Alabama visual artist and musician Lonnie Holley. Lonnie Holley has been described as a poet, a prophet, a hustler, a visionary artist, and a shaman. The 67-year old Holley has overcome grinding poverty, Jim Crow, and a nightmare childhood to emerge as a creative powerhouse with an agenda to save the planet. This film has much to say about the roles of race and social class in the American South. The film is followed by a discussion with Tommy Nichols, founder of the Charlotte Black Film Festival, Director George King, and Lonnie Holley. The event is virtual. Tickets are free.
Link to trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt-X0234jI0&feature=youtu.be
We hope you will enjoy these unique screening events from the App Theatre and Boone Docs. Southern Circuit short films are made possible through the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, a South Arts Program. The program is made possible through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
BOONE, NC — The Schaefer Center Presents (SCP) virtual performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, features one of the country’s most celebrated contemporary dance companies, BalletX, Thursday, Feb. 25 at 8pm. This specially curated broadcast of Philadelphia’s premier ballet company includes an introduction by BalletX co-founder Christine Cox, the BalletX 15th Anniversary Season documentary film, and two of the company’s popular mixed rep selections, “Increasing” and “Fancy Me.” The documentary was commissioned from filmmaker Daniel Madoff, and highlights the company’s growth, trajectory and continued commitment to redefining ballet in the 21st century. The SCP virtual event is free, but registration is required.
Figuring out how to effectively deliver dance to a virtual platform — while still maintaining a visceral connection to the dance audience — was difficult enough, but celebrating an anniversary season in the middle of a global pandemic? That posed a new set of challenges, says Cox. So instead of thinking small and insular, Cox and company decided “to go big and bold, by commissioning 15 new works in honor of our 15th anniversary season,” she said. “The entire team at BalletX bonded together to do whatever it took to make it work. … I knew we had a long hard road ahead of us when making the decision to pivot the company to the virtual presentation of our work. I also had an intense sense of duty to do whatever it took to keep on supporting the dancers, staff and artists we had commissioned.”
The experience of creating the documentary was a game-changer for the entire creative team, Cox said. In addition to recognizing that they “are far more resilient than [they] thought, we learned that this art form is a lifeline for not only us but for our growing community, [and] we learned that working together and caring for each other really do matter. Each dancer took on new aspects of the job, like creating dances, making films, developing editing skills and learning how to fundraise. The dancers also greatly appreciated the fact that we were able to keep working and instead of losing their jobs they gained perspective and insight into what it takes to keep a company alive during a worldwide pandemic.”
The Feb. 25 virtual event precedes BalletX’s scheduled in-person performance with the SCP series in Spring 2022, when the company will take the Schaefer Center stage to perform the beloved story ballet The Little Prince. And while BalletX’s virtual journey has been affirmative and fulfilling, the dancers look forward to the day when they can perform to a live house once again.
“The dancers have been at the heart of our pivot as a company,” said Cox, “because instead of dragging their feet and being annoyed at all the new things we were asking them to do, they embraced the challenges and brought new ideas. [But they] cannot wait to be back performing live for an audience. We are in it for the long haul and cannot wait to have the energy and spirit out in the house of a real theater.”
BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, whose dancers were named “among America’s best” by The New York Times, commissions choreographers from around the world to create dance that is “fresh, inclusive, and connects to what people want” (Philadelphia Citizen) while “positioning Philadelphia on the cutting edge of contemporary ballet” (The Dance Journal).
Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX is led by Cox, whose tenure as Artistic and Executive Director has produced 84 world premiere ballets by 42 choreographers, a record “few companies can match,” according to The New York Times. Under Cox’s leadership, BalletX has been hailed as an “epicenter of creation” (Dance Magazine) and “place of choreographic innovation” (The New Yorker), putting Philadelphia on the map as an international destination for contemporary ballet.
The BalletX presentation is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs at Appalachian State University.
March 11 at 8pm: Steep Canyon Rangers
A livestream event brought to you straight from the stage of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.
Asheville, NC's own Steep Canyon Rangers are GRAMMY winners, perennial Billboard chart-toppers, and frequent collaborators of the renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin.
March 25 at 8pm: Best of the Appalachian Dance Ensemble
This digital compilation, a best-of showcase of student performances in App State's Dept. of Theatre & Dance, features popular works from faculty choreographers.
Thank you to our SPC sponsors:
The Horton Hotel, Creekside Electronics, Boone Tourism Development Authority, Our State Magazine, Spectrum Reach, High Country Radio, WDAV 89.9 FM, WFDD 88.5FM and WASU 90.5FM.
**The 2020-21 Schaefer Center Presents season is funded in part by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. www.NCArts.org
About “The Schaefer Center Presents”
“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a "window on the world" through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, visit http://theschaefercenter.org.
BRAHM partners with Small and Mighty Acts for Black History Month programs and the Altar for Black Lives exhibition
Over the next five weeks, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum will celebrate Black History Month and explore the intersections between social justice and creative expression. The program series has been organized around the current exhibition, Small and Mighty Acts Altar for Black Lives. Link to exhibit: blowingrockmuseum.org/see/altar
Small and Mighty Acts serves as a platform to bolster the High Country of North Carolina and beyond toward a more peaceful, just and productive future.
The murder of George Floyd in May of 2020 sparked a global outcry and a resurgence of interest in the Black Lives Matter Movement. In response to the murders, Small and Mighty Acts constructed The Altar for Black Lives as a call to action and place for our community to come together, grieve and co-create an equitable future. The Altar for Black Lives is a recognition of the power in ritual in socio-political turmoil. Social change is not only a matter of policy- it is a matter of imagination and spirit.
BRAHM is hosting The Altar for Black Lives in the Alexander Community Gallery until March 27. We have photographed every piece of the altar. Additionally, we have created a web page for the exhibit featuring additional information and images of every piece on the altar. Many of the pieces were made anonymously. If anyone sees their work and would like to claim it, there is a form on the exhibit web page for you to do so.
UPCOMING BLACK LIVES MATTER PROGRAMMING:
Thursday February 11th at 6 p.m. we will premiere “Songs of Freedom” with Boone based artist, Melissa Edd. This program will explore songs from the civil rights movement and tell you stories behind the lyrics and the people named in them.
February 17th and 24th at 6 p.m: We hope you will join us for Writing on Justice, a two-part workshop on back-to-back Wednesday's, February 17th and 24th at 6 p.m., inviting participants to engage in a creative writing practice around concepts and themes related to BLM. Pieces created in this workshop will be included in a community exhibition booklet for the Small and Mighty Acts, Altar for Black Lives exhibition (not mandatory for participating in the workshop). The workshop will be led by Small and Mighty Acts founder, Cara Hagan. Link to the program: https://youtu.be/EA6t4DMugs.
February 21-28: BRAHM is hosting a virtual screening of the documentary Wilmington On Fire and a discussion with the film’s director, Christopher Everett. The film will be available for viewing through BRAHM’s website for 1 week from Feb 21-28, and on Thursday the 25th at 6 pm we will host the discussion. Link to the program: https://zoom.us/j/95917762436
March 4th: BRAHM is hosting “Pivot Step: Black Choreographers and the Intersection of Dance Arts and Social Justice.” This event will feature a discussion between Tamara Williams, dance professor and UNC Charlotte, Cara Hagan dance professor at Appalachian State University, and Dr. Julie B. Johnson, professor at Spelman college. Link to the program: https://zoom.us/j/97242717937
All of these events are free and open to the public. They were made possible by the hard work of Small and Mighty Acts, and by financial support from the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Watauga Arts Council.
If you are not able to make any of these programs, don’t worry - they will be recorded and posted to our YouTube page! Just make sure to subscribe to stay up to date. All of this and more can be delivered to your inbox when you subscribe to our weekly e-news letter or follow us on social media @brmuseum
Watauga Arts Council is proud to support this innovative project.....
The Curio Machine is a new Boone-based company specializing in creative vending machines with a rotating collection of local creative goods. The overall goal is to collaborate and help more artists making a living doing the things they love up here in the High Country!
With grant support from Watauga Arts Council, Curio is preparing to launch their first full-sized machine at our downtown King Street space and the submission process is open!
For any artists interested in vending their products through the new machines, you can submit your ideas and get the full details with the form at bit.ly/SubmitToCurio or by contacting email@example.com. The machine can accommodate items 1"-6" wide, but all artists are invited to also list larger works on the Curio online marketplace, up now at thecuriomachine.com.
This is an amazing opportunity for artists seeking to make passive income from their work and will be launching this month. Send your art in now and feel free to share with your other artist friends!
We loved being able to do a virtual holiday event with prizes for the Pumpkin Carving Contest in October so much that we have decided to do it again for Christmas this year! Enter your original handmade ornaments for the chance to win prizes and exhibit your creativity at the King Street Art Collective! Prizes are sponsored by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, Appalachian Craft Enrichment, the Children's Playhouse, High Country 10 Lanes, and More! Check out the full details as well as rules below!
Watauga Arts Council announces the opening of their second art exhibit in their new space located at 585 W. King Street (Above Doe Ridge Pottery). Their new facility, now named King Street Art Collective, will be open on weekends, Friday’s through Sunday’s from 12-5pm, starting November 20th-December 20th.
This newest exhibit highlights the works of three local artists and includes colorful abstract paintings, wood and clay sculptures, alcohol ink paintings, and mixed media metallic wall sculptures. Artists being exhibited are: abstract artist Adam Kahn, who’s bold colored canvases are representative of a multitude of deeper, primal energies; mixed media artist Pegge Laine, who for the past ten years has created beauty by remaining curious and responding to light, color and texture created by everyday items; and wood sculptor Aviva Kahn who derives inspiration from nature’s shapes and textures, combining wood, clay and other materials to express her spiritual being.
While they are unable to offer a traditional opening reception, due to COVID, visitors and residents are encouraged to come meet the artists this Saturday Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22. Adam will be on location on Saturday from 12-3, Aviva will be there Saturday from 2-5, and Pegge Laine will be offering live demonstrations on Sunday from 3-5pm.
Included in this exhibit is Adam Kahn’s “COVID Collection” which was inspired by Marco Rothko’s abstract color-field paintings combined with Kahn’s innateness to “get whatever is within him, out onto canvas”. As a musician, martial artist, and painter, creative expression has been ingrained into Adam’s daily life since he was a child. Now married and with children, Adam resides in Watauga County after falling in love with the area and starting Blue Ridge Kung Fu over 18 years ago. Mostly self-taught, Adam has been most passionate about canvas and paint for the past seven years, thoroughly letting the visual oddities of his external worldview channel through his memory to the draped canvas before him. He is freely sporadic and does not necessarily picture the final product when he begins, usually letting strokes of symmetry and multilateral dimensions of pain guide him to the final conception.
Pegge Laine’s exhibit “Free play” is a product of ten years of an artist’s journey. A journey of learning to be present in the moment, curious, and open, responding to light, color, texture, and design in the natural world and even in the "trash" of our daily lives. Upon retirement as a school counselor, Pegge Laine, returned to Appalachian State University to earn a certification in the Expressive Arts and Expressive Arts Consultant Educator. She began working at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts as an Outreach Coordinator. For Pegge, art is a way of being in the world, of living with awe and gratitude. She has learned to embrace the materials at hand and to have fun in her work, focusing on process rather than product. She has learned to let go of her own expectations, following the flow of paint, collage, ink, wax and trash. “I believe art offers a path for healing, a way of envisioning new ways of being in the world...a way to play. It is an ongoing journey of the heart ... a conversation with life as I experience it” (Pegge).
Mother of Adam Kahn, Aviva Kahn is an accomplished artist in her own right. The mother and son share creative energies and challenge each other to continue their artistic journeys. Adam admits, “I would not be where I am as an artist without Mom’s encouragement.” An awarded sculpturist, painter, and commissioned artist, Aviva’s wood sculptures add interest and a three dimensional aspect to this exhibit. When she moved here from New York after a divorce years ago, her solitude helped her trust her own intuition much more. “The older I get the more I’m inspired by nature and my daily meditations. I’m able to go deeper within my internal world and to manifest these ideas via a variety of mediums.” Aviva is always experimenting and loves to create new textures. “I’m fortunate to still be surprised.” Aviva works with essences instead of literal realities.
The King Street Art Collective is the newest addition to the art scene on King Street in downtown Boone. Watauga Arts Council hopes to use this space to bridge various artist communities and provide artists greater exposure to new markets. They hope to energize arts in the High Country by offering space for artists to explore new ideas, showcase their work, teach workshops, offer demonstrations, perform, and more. They hope it provides rich artistic experiences for artists, residents, students, and visitors alike.
On Friday, November 27th, the Watauga Arts Council will open a Holiday Artist’s Market, which will overlap with the current gallery exhibit. Browse handmade creations of glass, jewelry, pottery, prints, paintings, and more, November 27th-December 20th. Don’t miss it!
Visit them on Facebook, Instagram or go to their website to find out more.
Events are FREE; advance registration required at theschaefercenter.org. A private link will be sent to all registrants prior to the events, all of which are available to view at any time during the scheduled event dates. For questions, contact the Box Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Study guides are available to download for each event.
Every season, affordable music, dance, film and theatre events are offered to students and their teachers from K-12 classrooms across the region. Students experience everything from high-energy acrobatics and Appalachian music to international dance and literary classics brought to life through theatrical productions. The performances are part of the APPlause! series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. Featuring local, regional, and world-renowned professional artists, the mission of the program is to share university arts resources with the public, private, and homeschool network across our region. Study guide materials connect every performance to the classroom curriculum.
If you are interested in exhibiting your work in one of our upcoming holiday shows, please fill out the following form.
We are excited to present multiple COVID-safe options for artists to exhibit and sell their work during the remaining months of 2020. Our new Downtown Satellite Gallery is open at 585 West King St above Doe Ridge Pottery and we are looking for local artists who would like to exhibit/sell their work in a Holiday Market! The gallery is large and open for effective social distancing and masks will be required for all customers. The Downtown Holiday Market will run from the beginning of November through December and will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!
We are also partnered with Cheap Joes for their annual Employee Show and Holiday Gift Sale, which runs from November 13 - December 18. While this event is normally reserved for employees only, this year local artists are invited to submit their work for the Holiday Gift Sale! The deadline to submit work for Cheap Joes is November 2nd, so don't wait to apply!
The holiday season is swiftly approaching so don't miss out on these exciting opportunities! While this season may look different from those in the past, we look forward to bringing some much needed holiday cheer to our community and hope you will join us!
History of the Fiber Arts Guild
A unique guild of fiber artists exhibited their work in downtown Boone each weekend this past October. Visitors may have stopped by their exhibit on West King Street and seen the fiber artists demonstrate their craft on the looms. Aprons, bookmarks, masks, scarves, sweaters and lap looms for beginners were all on display and available for shoppers to purchase.
Fiber arts is the long-standing crafts in the High Country. Passed down generationally, the artists said that they learn new skills of the hand and loom from each other.
“She (Susan Sharp, co-founder of the guild) gave me a drop spindle and a bag of wool. It actually changed my life forever.” said Eleanor Hjemmets, one of the first weavers and co-founders of the guild.
The guild members believe that the number of people practicing fiber art has decreased in the past 20 years.
“Most weaving has been moved to large machining centers, so many groups like us are disappearing. The machines take the place of our tedious labor, so these goods can be priced much cheaper,” Hjemmets said. “I continued to weave because I enjoyed the tediousness of it.
The artists of the guild describe the craft as a series of nuanced skills that require a sharp eye, relaxed agility and a creative mind. With only a few weaving communities left, the women of the Blue Ridge Fiber Guild cherish the practicality of fiber.
“For all of us, it’s a continuing education and a hobby,” said Sharp, co-founder of the Blue Ridge Fiber Arts Guild. “I had an interest in traditional weaving and tapestry before we started the guild.”
The Blue Ridge Fiber Guild of the High Country was established in the 1970s by Sharp, Hjemmets, Sandie Adair and Jane Campbel, who began crafting different types of fiber, wool, cotton and yarn, supporting their essential desire to learn.
The mission of the guild is to teach the skills to the next generation of children and adults and provide practical goods to the community surrounding themselves.
Their exhibit was hosted by the Watauga Arts Collective in downtown Boone, at street level above Doe Ridge Pottery celebrating American Craft Week.
Hjemmets, who provided weaving demonstrations on weekends this October, began her artistic education as a painter in the late 1970s. Hjemmets transitioned to weaving when she met Sharp.
Sharp is well known for her giant story quilts. Her first quilt she constructed, “Family Photo Album,” was recently purchased by the International Quilting Museum in Nebraska. The Turchin Center and the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum have also exhibited her work.
Amber Bateman, executive director of the Watauga Arts Council, said all of the guild members were thrilled to show in such a prime location as downtown Boone, where they had an opportunity to capture the attention of visitors who may have never seen the breadth of work that fiber arts include.
“There were always women wanting to spin. The revival of the guild connected us weavers together in the community,” Hjemmets said.
Jean Marie Martinac, a new member of the Blue Ridge Fiber Arts Guild, said she learned the craft from her grandmothers on both sides of her family.
“This art is essential. To learn, all one has to do is decode the process and follow the instructions,” Martinac said.
Martinac has created a variety of woven sweaters, patterned scarves and fabric landscape scenes.
“Yarn and fabric make me happy, and it’s productive. Weaving and quilting, like all things, requires counting and thinking. Plus, it keeps my hands busy,” Martinac said. “When we get together, we disconnect from our phones and connect to crafting.”
Sharp spent five years in Watauga County teaching fiber styles and has been sourcing the Guild’s collective work for galleries across North Carolina. She currently has 15 students and seven looms that they use.
“Find a group or class. Support each other. I always research new things because of this craft, as I love to learn as much as I teach,” Sharp said.
We are so excited to announce that the Watauga Arts Council has begun to operate our COVID safe classroom space since this past Wednesday! The Council interns and director spent the day getting the space ready for our students and workshop teacher, John Bond. This October, we've started hosting John Bond's Adult Art Classes in our Blue Ridge Art Space. John offers a one-on-one teaching experience with the students. He used to own the Art Mart Academy, so he is experienced in teaching unique styles with different tool techniques. He recently had his first set of classes, and they were a great success. We have more classes offered week by week featuring John Bond. Students chose their mediums (Drawing, painting, penciling, charcoal, pastels) and gathered the applicable supplies located in our workshop space.