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Watauga art teachers receive grants

By Jeff Eason (

Article Published: Sep. 5, 2013 | Modified: Sep. 5, 2013
Watauga art teachers receive grants

Mary Ann Beckwith is the national juror for the 68th annual Watercolor Society of North Carolina exhibition at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum.

Photo submitted

With the Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s (WSNC) choice of the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum as the venue for its 68th annual juried exhibition comes some unexpected perks.

The WSNC announced this week that four Watauga County art instructors serving all eight county elementary schools will receive grants to help them in the classroom.

“On behalf of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, we congratulate the following schools and art teachers for winning the ‘Keep the Arts Alive’ grant opportunity through the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and Cheap Joe’s,” said Gale Champion of the WSNC. “This award will be renamed ‘Cheap Joe’s Arts in Education Award’ at the annual meeting of the WSNC on Sept. 8 at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock.”

The following art teachers received a $500 grant from the WSNC plus a $500 matching grant from Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff: Jill Huffman (Blowing Rock Elementary and Valle Crucis Elementary), Tyler Deal (Green Valley Elementary and Cove Creek Elementary), Rae Filsinger (Parkway Elementary and Mabel Elementary) and Chad Safferstone (Hardin Park Elementary and Bethel Elementary).

The grant money will be awarded to the schools and administered by the art teachers. If the art teacher leaves the school, the grant money stays with the school and the amount expires in one year.

Awards will be presented at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. The WSNC and “Cheap” Joe Miller will be presenting the certificates that go along with this award.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the art education in Watauga County, and both WSNC and Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff are proud sponsors of this award,” Champion said. “Everyone is excited to enhance the creative minds of our future artists.

“To further the educational goals of the WSNC, we will also present a ‘teacher scholarship’ to one art teacher in Watauga County to attend our week-long watercolor workshop taught by Mary Ann Beckwith, national juror for this year’s 68th annual exhibition at Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. We are proud to announce that Tyler Deal is the winner of this scholarship.”


The Watercolor Society of North Carolina 68th Juried Exhibition will be held Sept. 8 through Nov. 2 at BRAHM. Beckwith selected 70 paintings from 279 images submitted by 155 WSNC artists.

Beckwith’s credentials include signature membership in the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.

In conjunction with the exhibit, BRAHM is also hosting a workshop, which will take place Monday, Sept. 9, through Friday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. For more information or to register, visit

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