Downtown Boone Art Crawl

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Sep. 5, 2013 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2013
Downtown Boone Art Crawl

Rachel Ballard Bigley’s figurative sculptures will be showcased at Doe Ridge Pottery.

Photo submitted

The First Friday Art Crawl returns to downtown Boone Sept. 6, and participating galleries and businesses will open their doors in celebration of art, community and a combination of the two.

Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (423 W. King St.) is welcoming the fall season with its Fall Exhibition Celebration. From 6 to 10 p.m., the Turchin Center will be open for all visitors to come and see the five new exhibitions on display, while celebrating the center’s 10th anniversary. Admission is free.

During this exhibition rotation, each gallery will feature work from an artist with North Carolina ties. The new exhibitions being celebrated Sept. 6 are “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective,” “Orna Bentor: Landscapes Within,” “Men Working: The Contemporary Collection of Allen Thomas Jr.,” “Susan Webb Tregay: Contemporary Art for Adult Children” and “Beyond the Image: The Paintings of Warren Dennis.”

The Turchin Center will also kick off the popular weekly kids workshop, Blazing Easels, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Blazing Easels is open for children ages 7 to 12 and is held every Friday in September through November. Find out more information and how to register at

Hands Gallery (543 W. King St.) is celebrating First Friday with Chrissie Callejas’ ceramic sculptures. Callejas has created a pantheon of clay figures that fill the gallery’s front window. As gallery members will attest, her characters are wildly expressive and dressed to the nines. They are made of stoneware clay and undergo multiple firings. Callejas began her membership at Hands in 1976. She will be presenting at the art crawl from 6 to 8 p.m.

Doe Ridge Pottery (585 W. King St.) will showcase the work of September’s featured artist, Rachel Ballard Bigley. Working from photographs and anatomical studies, she will demonstrate various figurative sculpting techniques. Particular attention will be paid to developing the expressive features of the face and hands. Issues of anatomy and gesture will be addressed, as well.

Ballard Bigley was born and raised in Mooresville. In 2011 she received a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics and a bachelor of science in art education from Appalachian State. Her work has been selected for the Lark Crafts publication, “500 Figures in Clay: Volume 2,” and the 2012 NCECA conference. She continues to show her work nationwide. Upon graduation, she has served as a studio assistant to artists Cristina Cordova, Beth Cavener Stichter, Bob Meier and Lisa Clague. She is currently a resident of Boone, where she continues to make her work as a member of the Nth Degree Gallery and Studios. For more information, visit

The town of Boone’s Jones House Community Center (604 W. King St.) will feature the “Visions of Peace” juried exhibition in celebration of the International Day of Peace, which was established by the United Nations in 1981. It is observed annually on Sept. 21. “Visions of Peace” is a themed exhibition on the artists’ visual interpretation peace.

Work displayed in the Mazie Jones Gallery has been submitted by 15 area artists, including Julia Rechenbach-Moomaw, Rick Rapfogel, Betty Joe Kinzler, Karen Parker, Ryan Batton, Marion Cloaninger, Adam Adcock, Scott Brown, Jody Bargerstock, Ann Lynch, Carla Cheshire, Toni Carlton, Dennis Usdan, Susan Owen and Tyler Deal.

Upstairs galleries feature work from artists from Watauga High School, Two Rivers Community School, Cove Creek and Green Valley elementary schools and Cranberry Middle School.

Juror Joseph Bigley received his MFA in sculptural dimensional studies from Alfred University in 2008. He is currently full-time sculpture faculty in the art department at Appalachian State University. He has exhibited his work across the United States and internationally.

A celebration for “Visions of Peace” will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, and the artwork will be on display throughout September at the Jones House. For more information, visit or call (828) 262-4576.

ArtWalk (611 W. King St.) is preparing for the students’ first art crawl of the new school year with snacks, drinks, music and new art. Selections include jewelry, wallets, watches and other accessories, as well as school spirit — Mountaineers tumblers, platters and even salt and pepper shakers.

Beer lovers might check out the work by ceramicist Kit Vanderwal, who uses a spectrum of jewel-like color to embellish functional pottery created from Yuengling beer bottles. When firing ceramic pieces, Vanderwal places broken shards of glass from the beer bottles into the bases of each piece that melt when heated, transforming the green glass into glowing hues of bright greens, blues and purples. For more information call (828) 264-9998, email ( or visit

Anna Banana’s (641 W. King St., Suite 1) will offer food from Char, wine from Glug and face-painting by Claire Bilbao, along with music just outside the store.

This First Friday will mark the grand opening of Art Mart & Academy (681 W. King St.) in downtown Boone. Art Mart recently moved from its former location at Boone Heights Drive and will be showing works created in the new studio. In celebration of its reopening, as well as its 39th year in Boone, Art Mart will give out door prizes for art materials, as well as refreshments.

The Nth Degree Gallery & Studios (683 W. King St.) is featuring “explorations of emotional avenues through the medium of painting” by Jonathan Smith of Shed Studios.

Yosefa AntiquiTEA (161-C Howard St.) is putting on its debut art show, hosted by Brandon Kourie, a teahouse staff member and student in ASU’s art department. The show will feature the works of practicing artists on the rise — undergrad students from ASU’s art department. Participating artists include Laurie Kirkpatrick, Claire Lenahan and Maria Perry, with a mix of ceramic sculpture, pottery, fibers and paintings. Also included will be a few paintings from henna artist and Yosefa assistant manager Sharon Taylor. And tea’s not the only beverage on the menu. Yosefa will offer free wine to visitors of age.

Join Our Art Crawl Roundup

If your business participates in Downtown Boone First Fridays, send your goings-on to ( to be included in our next First Friday Art Crawl roundup.

Additional Images

Rachel Ballard Bigley’s figurative sculptures will be showcased at Doe Ridge Pottery.
Photo submitted

Artist Kit Vanderwal, whose work is now featured at ArtWalk, uses a spectrum of jewel-like color to embellish functional pottery created from Yuengling beer bottles.
Photo submitted

Art Mart & Academy is celebrating its grand opening in downtown Boone this Friday.
Photo submitted

The Nth Degree Gallery & Studios will feature artwork from Jonathan Smith of Shed Studios.

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