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On the Fence

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jul. 18, 2013 | Modified: Jul. 18, 2013
On the Fence

ArtSpace volunteers Jimmie Owen and Pat Moritz inspect an aging fence at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace in a lead-up to the picket-painting fundraiser.

Photo by Jesse Campbell

The whirlwind of a relentless “to-do-list” has besieged the recently opened Blue Ridge ArtSpace, located at the corner of State Farm Road and Shadowline Drive.

“We still have a lot to do,” said Cherry Johnson, executive director of the Watauga County Arts Council. “We’ve not been able to hold the classes and workshops we’ve wanted, because we haven’t had the time.”

The community art center is the new home to the WCAC and Appalachian State University’s Community Music School and Craft Enrichment Program.

To help raise funds and spur interest in the consolidated art initiatives, the WCAC has scheduled several fundraising activities for the benefit of the ArtSpace and Watauga County’s cultural needs.

The 100 for $100 campaign, which enlists the generous efforts of 100 people in Watauga County to contribute $100 each for the ArtSpace, is going “pretty well,” Johnson said.

ArtSpace has also received “three anonymous significant contributions,” Johnson said, although specific numbers have not yet been announced.

A barbecue and cakewalk were also held last Saturday night to drum up more interest for the WCAC’s activities, Johnson said.

“We’ve had both large and small fundraisers,” she said. “The money we’ve received (through fundraising) has been decent, but we always need more. We’ve had quite a few visitors (since we opened) to check things out.”

Looking forward, Johnson is positive about the future of the fledgling ArtSpace and community involvement.

“It’s all on the upswing,” she said. “People are calling and wanting the workshops and classes. We’re moving, but there’s so much to do.”

ArtSpace’s latest fundraiser, a fence-painting project, is aimed to generate not only additional funds, but also “community support and enthusiasm,” Johnson said.

The WCAC is looking for participants to take the time and creative energies to paint the pickets in a side-yard fence that has fallen into disrepair.

Participants are encouraged to express themselves by painting a picket in an array of colors, using creative designs. The ArtSpace is a community and family-friendly organization, so participants are asked to refrain from including inappropriate messages in their designs.

Interested picket-painters can visit New River Building Supply (3148 N.C. 105, Boone), where they can purchase a fence picket for $5 — as many as they want — to represent their family or organization. Painters can then bring their picket to the Fabulous Fence Arts Festival at the ArtSpace from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.

In a lead-up to the festival, two picket-painting workshops will also be held at the ArtSpace from 1 to 4 p.m. July 20 and July 27. The cost is $20 per person. The cost includes one picket and access to paint and tools. Due to time constraints, only one side of the fence can be painted at the workshop.

During the fence festival Aug. 17, visitors are also invited to help paint a community barn quilt for the ArtSpace.

To register, call the Watauga County Arts Council at (828) 264-1789. The Watauga County Arts Council and Blue Ridge ArtSpace are located at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone. For more information, visit

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