On the newly christened Ginny Stevens Lane in downtown Blowing Rock, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum is more than a bunch of walls with paintings on them as musicians, educational events and history offerings fill the summer lineups.

“Our programming is always top-notch and excellent,” said BRAHM spokesperson Ashley Warren. “We have a really amazing lineup of musicians, workshops, talks and so many amazing things happening. If you’ve been hiking all day an want to sit inside in the A/C and be entertained or learn something, we have a really unique space.”

“It’s an opportunity to have fun and learn at the same time,” Warren said. “You can’t find anywhere else that links art and history to Appalachian and the High Country.”

Summer Exhibition Celebrations May 31

Join BRAHM on Friday, May 31, from 4:30-7 p.m. for the opening of our latest exhibitions. A seasonal event, the exhibition celebrations are some of BRAHM’s biggest gatherings of the year to celebrate the changing and unveiling of exhibits. Hors-d’oeuvres, drinks and music are offered throughout the evening. You’ll have the chance to meet museum staff, exhibiting artists, featured historians and fellow cultural enthusiasts from across our High Country community. Every reception is free and family-friendly. This event is free and open to the public.

Gail Haley’s Jack Tales: New Acquisitions to the Collection  Open through June 30

BRAHM is excited to celebrate its latest acquisitions to the Permanent Collection in Gail Haley’s Jack Tales. This exhibition features Gail Haley’s original illustrations for her book “Jack and the Bean Tree” and original linocut prints for her book Jack and the Fire Dragon as well as an original painting, Haley’s depiction of “Soldier Jack,” all of which were generously donated this year to the museum’s collection thanks to local resident and patron, Alice Naylor.

Haley is an artist, illustrator and writer of children’s books. She has written and illustrated close to 50 books throughout her career. She is the only person to have received both the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal for art. Haley was a longtime Blowing Rock resident and recently moved to Charlotte near her hometown of Shuffletown. While North Carolina has always been home, she considers herself “a citizen of the world.” Before she was 5 years old, Haley traveled across the country to California by troop train with her mother and father and even spent some time in Mexico. It was during this time, at a young age, that Haley realized how much she admired people and their traditions and all the ways in which we’re connected across cultures, through stories as old as time.

The 152nd Annual International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society  May 3 to July 21

BRAHM is excited to be hosting the American Watercolor Society’s traveling exhibition. The American Watercolor Society is a non-profit organization, based in New York City, that began in 1866 to promote the art of watercolor painting in America. Each year, they hold a juried exhibition of watercolor paintings from artists throughout the world and travel this show to six locations. We are privileged to be a host site for this exhibition in 2019. The exhibition features the work of 40 artists, highlighting many varied artistic styles.

The American Watercolor Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious art societies in the world. Indeed, election to the Society as a Signature Member is one of the most sought-after honors in the painting world. AWS Membership comprises many of the greatest names in painting throughout the Society’s history and includes (to name drop a few) the American impressionist Childe Hassam, regionalists Edward Hopper and Charles Burchfield, plus virtually every member of the important “California School” of watercolorists and everyone in between, up to and including the late Andrew Wyeth.

“We stand a far distance from Dec. 5, 1866, the Society’s founding day,” said Antonio Masi, AWS President and himself an internationally celebrated artist. “And we know that the passage of time has validated our founders’ work and values.”

AWS’s annual Exhibition is one of the most revered watercolor exhibits in the world. More than 1,100 artists from throughout the United States and 33 foreign countries submit their work to a panel of jurors chosen from Signature Members of the AWS. Of these submissions, 122 paintings were selected for the exhibition. Forty paintings from the show were selected for the Traveling Exhibition, which will tour six museums and galleries across the country during the next year. For the schedule of the Traveling Exhibition and to view images of the prize-winning entries, visit www.awsinc.org.

While inclusion in this exhibition is itself an honor, participants also compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals of Honor, and 29 other awards and medals totaling nearly $50,000 in prize money.

Southern Strands: North Carolina Fiber Art  May 25 to Oct. 27

Textiles and fibers have a strong place within craft heritage and history in North Carolina. The 19th century saw the industrial revolution bring textile mills to the heart of the state, which challenged handcrafted techniques. The layers of this story are deepened by an exploration of women’s history, which is strongly rooted in fiber and textile practices. Addressing these themes, Southern Strands: North Carolina Fiber Art presents artwork by contemporary fiber and textile artists creating across the state of North Carolina, alongside historic discussions that highlight and encourage appreciation for the cultural history and heritage of these crafts.

Exhibiting artists include Edwina Bringle, Catharine Ellis, Jeana Klein, Carmen Grier, Leslie Pearson, Evee Erb, Erin Miller, Sydney Sogol, Joyce Watkins King, Marguerite Jay Gignoux, Mary Tuma, Jan-Ru Wan, Susan Brandeis, Billie Ruth Sudduth, Vicki Essig, Bryant Holsenbeck, Susan Sharpe, September Krueger, Bethanne Knudson, Precious Lovell and Andrea Vail. These artists hail from all over the state of North Carolina, from the east coast to the mountainous west and the Piedmont in between.

Southern Strands presents works created using a wide variety of techniques, many of which seek to incorporate natural methods of textile production through natural dyes, as well as the reuse of locally gathered fiber materials. Techniques explored by exhibiting artists include quilting, basketry, weaving, felting, embroidery, crochet, paper making, book binding, screen printing, pattern making and dyeing. Additionally, contemporary techniques explore fibers and textiles through sculpture, installation and mixed media.

This presentation of diverse mediums is coupled with discussions of the functional and the visual. Historically, textiles have served a functional means, from clothing to storage vessels. As time has passed, there has been a bridging of the worlds of function, craft and visual art. Southern Strands offers opportunities to expand on these discussions of form versus function, as well as commonalities and differences found within fiber and textile practices employed in art studios across the state today.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership.

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