Artists Alley opens up Saturday

Article Published: Sep. 2, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Artists Alley. It's not just a street. It's a community. And Saturday, it's opening up to the rest of the High Country.

"We do this every year," artist Marie Hosfield said.

The Artists Alley Art Show is a Labor Day weekend tradition in the High Country and has been for nearly 40 years, thanks to Minerva Goldsmith. Come Saturday, you can hear the tale in person.

"She owned most of this property down in this area," Hosfield said. "She came here in the summertime and had always looked upon this piece of land as a perfect place for an artist colony."

After selling land to local art legend Philip Moose, her dream became a reality. He began to sell off parcels, including one to potter Herb Cohen and mixed media artist Jose Fumero. But it hasn't all been planned. After all, coincidence brought Hosfield to the Alley.

"And we're in our eighth year in the Alley," she said.

She moved for the location and was delighted to learn artists congregate at the Alley.

"We're close enough to Blowing Rock and Boone, but we're tucked away off the beaten path," she said, "and it's just a quiet, serene place to paint or to indulge yourself in whatever art you're doing, whether it's pottery or woodworking or painting. It's just a nice feeling down here."
The acrylic paint she puts to the canvas reflects that edge.

"I do a lot of landscapes," Hosfield said.

But it's not just about paint. Think glass blowing, watercolors, pottery, charcoals and more. The sale is made up of all kinds and, of course, all prices.

"I think that most anyone can find something in their price range here," she said.

And it's not all just for display. Jewelry and functional pottery make unique gifts and are all available at the show.

A sunny afternoon will mean a pleasant stroll down the street. "You can park all along, pretty much," she said.

People will assist in traffic direction, and handicapped and special needs vehicles will be accommodated in the driveways.

A reception opens the show Friday, Sept. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. The show starts Saturday, Sept. 4 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) and extends through Sunday (noon-4 p.m.). Hosting artists include Kate Colclaser (pottery), Marie Hosfield, Barbara Ballesty and Julianne Spradlin.

Colclaser, a former Penland student who has displayed her work in the Jones House and Turchin Center, has work displayed on She is hosting Appalachian StateUniversity's Craft Enrichment Program instructor, June Kay.

Kay currently teaches glass fusing and pottery and has worked abroad in stained glass, glass painting and porcelain. Colclaser is also hosting glass blower Garner Britt, also an instructor in ASU's Craft Enrichment Program.

Potter and teacher (Artworks on Main in Mooresville) Barbara Ballesty creates functional art and will host L.C. Neill, Adeline Sauer and Alex Hallmark.

Neill, an oil and egg tempera artist, concentrates on figurative and still life.

Sauer, a 2009 award winner in the Caldwell County Visual Arts Annual Competition, is a watercolor landscape painter and also works with colored pencils. Hallmark, a self-described figurative sculptor, produces sculpture in several different cast mediums and specializes in commissions for architectural applications.

Spradlin, an Alley organizer, will host SaraBeth Metzger and Laura Cardwell. Metzger, involved in the show for the last four years, works with ceramics. Cardwell, an artisan jeweler, fuses, forges, raises and stone sets in Argentums silver, sterling silver, 14-karat rose gold and copper.

Hosfield, who enjoys, in particular, painting landscapes along the Blue Ridge Parkway, is hosting Sharon T. Moore, Virginia Nuckolls, Stephanie Welden, Julia J. Allen, Lisa Pepper and Laura Fly. Moore, a painter who also works with pastels, has a background in interior design.

Nuckolls, a metal smith, creates functional woven baskets. Allen, a multi-media paint thrower, is originally from Durham. Welden, an oil painter, works with mountain- and coast-scapes and has work on display at the Main Street Gallery in Blowing Rock. Pepper is an oil painter. Fly, a graduate of ASU, has been designing and creating her own jewelry line for more than a decade.
Artists Alley is located 3.5 miles off U.S. 221 South from Blowing Rock. Follow the signs.

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