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Pastels, pottery on display at Jones House

Article Published: Mar. 4, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Pastels, pottery on display at Jones House

This Friday, March 5, from 6:30-8 p.m., during the Downtown Boone Art Crawl, the Watauga Arts Council at the Jones House will host a gallery reception to introduce two new exhibits, which will remain on display until Friday, March 26.

The downstairs Mazie Jones Gallery features pastels by Craig Franz. Franz has lived most of his life in the High Country, and his work showcases the natural beauty enjoyed in the mountains. He started out creating jewelry and, for many years, worked in a local dental lab. He now makes pieces for a restorative dentist.

While studying at Appalachian State University, Franz took some drawing and painting classes, but creating jewelry was what he enjoyed the most. Only in the last two years has he been working with pastels.

"I love the pure color and intensity of soft pastels and the immediate nature of their use," Franz said. "Shapes rendered either with soft or hard edges convey the light and color that, as the artist, I see, as well as creating the mood and character of a piece."

His work has been on exhibit in several local galleries, and he received the "2009 Best of Show" award at the Northwest Art Guild Show in Wilkesboro.

"We are very pleased to introduce him to the art community here in Watauga County," a Watauga Arts Council spokesperson said.

In the Open Door Gallery, the council's featuring a group of potters called "Mud on the Mountain." This group consists of six area artists: Kate Colclaser, Barbara Scarborough, Nancy Graham, Patti Carmen, June Kay and Connie Cox. These women became friends while taking classes at Doe Ridge Pottery and Appalachian State University.

They all came to the area from different places, but have a common interest in the artistry and beauty of nature. Each one of them expresses that love in a unique way.

Sitting before the same ingredient - mud (or clay) - these six women have visualized this humble medium into becoming something useful and yet beautiful. Drawing from a variety of skills, this clay has been wheel-thrown, rolled into slabs, extruded, sculpted, texturized and /or carved. Then they carefully consider the form and finishes, producing works of functional art.

"Come in and see the diversity of their creative expression," the spokesperson said.
For more information about Mud on the Mountain, visit their blog at

The Jones House Community Center is located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call the Watauga Arts Council at (828) 264-1789 or visit

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