Downtown Boone Art Crawl Friday

Article Published: Feb. 3, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Downtown Boone Art Crawl Friday

'Masai Boy' by Gary Dowd, featured at the Jones House Community Center.

Art Crawl makes its return Friday, and it's got a taste of everything, from love-themed portraits you'd expect in time for Valentine's Day, to some tropic flavor that promises to warm up your home and heart.

Couple Love

To California girl turned Boonie Ciara McCaig, it's a double-led life.

By night, she's the "queen of late night," managing popular bar Char. By day, however, her eyes are focused on a camera lens, and she loves every single shutter click.

"I started as a wedding photographer's assistant when I was 18 years old," she said, "and totally fell in love with it and made up my mind that it's what I want to do with the rest of my life."

Friday marks a show highlighting one of her favorite subjects: Couples, and it's just in time for Valentine's Day.

"They're mainly friends that have hired me to do couples' portraits, and they're very beautiful, and they're very personal, and they're very specific to the couple's personality," she said.

McCaig says "friends," but, by the time she finishes a portrait session, her subjects all become friends. It's a necessary part of the job description, she said.

"When you love who you're photographing, it's easier to bring out beauty in them," she said, and she has a few words of advice for the amateur photographer in all of us.

"Get to know your subjects," she said. "Find out what makes them different from anybody else and try to find that. Try to shoot that. Try to find something that makes the unique and beautiful, and that's what you print."

And photographs? They are the ultimate valentine, she said.

"It's personal," McCaig said. "It's timeless. It's something that won't die. It's something that won't get eaten. It's something that won't get thrown in the trash like every greeting card you have gotten. It's the most personal thing you can get."

Expect a line of greeting cards at Art of Oil in the near future. In the meantime, look for McCaig's couples' collection at Art of Oil (222 Howard St.) from 5 to 9 p.m. at Friday's Downtown Boone Art Crawl. For more information on Ciara McCaig or to find out how to get your own couple's portrait, visit

 A Taste of the Tropics

For mountain girl turned beach queen Kimberly Dawn Clayton, painting has been a lifelong passion, despite the lack of formal training.

"My grandfather was a designer," she said, "so, he taught me how to draw when I was a little girl."
But she didn't delve into art professionally until a fateful car ride.

"I was listening to the radio, and I heard this trivia question, and it was about the Mona Lisa and how the Mona Lisa was painted on wood, and that gave me the idea."

She rerouted to the nearest pile of scrap wood and picked up a paint brush.

Her first show was in her native Tennessee at 26. Now at 40, she's an artist full time. While it's not something her banker father jumped at when she made it a full-time career, even he is excited for her chosen career. "He asked for a painting for Christmas," Clayton laughed.

 The ex-gymnast creates tropical pieces, inspired by her new home, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
"I started surfing at 30," she said, "and a lot of my ocean themes come from that."

But, in spite of everything, she can't shake the Appalachian Mountains.

"I am a mountain girl ... I miss them like you wouldn't believe," Clayton said. "I do love the mountains, but the sunshine and definitely the vitamin D helps with painting out here, though."

And the mom of three is excited to have her art featured at Friday's Art Crawl at ArtWalk on King Street.

For a preview, check out  

Art Crawl

Hosted every first Friday of the month, Boone's art crawls see area galleries and businesses open their doors in celebration of local artistry.

Art of Oil, 222 Howard St., a tasting gallery for gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars, hosts Ciara McCaig from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Custard Depot, 228 Howard St., is offering a free topping with any size purchase of custard.

Nth Gallery, 683 W. King St., hosts the Appalachian State University Installation Sculpture class. Expect a class-wide collaborative exhibition from 6 to 9 p.m. While the class has only been meeting since January, its professor, Joseph Bigley, promises a fun, multimedia show.

The Jones House Community Center, 604 W. King St., features the photography of Gary W. Dowd, a North Carolina native who has traveled to more than 80 countries. Along with the Dowd show in the Mazie Jones gallery, expect a show from the students of Two Rivers Community School in the Open Door Gallery. A reception happens at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments.

Art Walk, 611 W. King St., features the work of Myrtle Beach's Kimberly Dawn Clayton.

Doe Ridge Pottery, 585 W. King St., features Maggie Black demonstrating how she makes open-basket coil planters and lanterns.

Char, 179 S. Howard St., is offering half-price appetizers from 5 to 9 p.m. And $5 glasses of house wine.

Anna Banana's, 641 King St., hosts artist Becky Story and her "love birds." The Charlotte-based potter specializes in barrel-fired-raku-high fire pottery. Expect munchies by Char, wine and a juice tasting.

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, 423 W. King St., has three new exhibitions: Children's Art of the High Country in its Catwalk Community Gallery, the eighth annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition in the Mezzanine Gallery, and Appalachian Alumni in the Arts in its Main Gallery. Also expect "In the Void" by sculptor David Meyer and "The Hemlocks! The Hemlocks!: Grief and Celebration" by Lowell Hayes.

Gladiola Girls, 549 W. King St., will be open for after hours shopping. Expect 20 percent off of scarves.

Vidalia, 831 W. King St., features wine by the glass specials.

The Bead Box, 585 W. King St., hosts artist/photographer Laura Johnston 's local scenic photography and notecards. Expect 15 percent off of necklaces and a buy three pairs of earrings, get the fourth free special. Additionally, buy four bulk supplies and get the fifth for free.

The Open Door, 703 W. King St., will be closed Friday.

Lucky Penny, 693 W. King St., will host Stephanie Smith Hair accessories, handbags and clothing from 7 to 10 p.m.

641 rpm, 691 W. King St., is hosting a DJ dance party at Black Cat Burrito, 127 S. Depot St.
Other regularly participating galleries and businesses include beansTalk, Boone Saloon, Capone's Untouchable Pizza, Mast General Store, Macado's, The Collective on Depot, the Downtown Boone Post Office, Green Mother Goods, Cafe Portofino, Glug Wine and Beer, Bulldog's Beer and Wine, Hands Gallery, Downtown Boone Development Association, Boone Drug, Cha Da Thai, Ink Link Tattoos, Our Daily Bread, Earth Fare, Black Cat Burrito, Footsloggers, Jungle Boogie, Harmon's Dixie Pride, Paolucci's Italian Bar and Grill, the Shoppes at Farmer's Hardware, Shear Shakti, MC Adams Clothier, Modern Rustic, Looking Glass Gallery, Fat Cats Music & Video, and The GreenHouse.

The Downtown Boone Art Crawl lasts from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., though shops typically close at 7:30 p.m. The monthly event is sponsored by the Downtown Boone Development Association Public Art Program. For more information, call (828) 262-4532 or visit

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