BRAHM building nears completion



Article Published: Jun. 30, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
BRAHM building nears completion

As construction continues on the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, organizers anticipate an Oct. 1 grand opening.
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Construction is progressing at the future home of the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM), located at the corner of Chestnut and Main streets.

Crews are working diligently to complete the building for the museum's grand opening this fall.

Among the many projects currently under way are the painting of the building's interior; the completion of exhibition furniture, cabinetry and work spaces; the installation of the lighting; and the pouring of the curbs and sidewalks along Chestnut Street.

"This is a very exciting time for BRAHM," said Welborn Alexander, president of the organization's board of trustees. "It has been very special to be able to watch this building rise from the ground, and I am incredibly proud of what has been accomplished thus far. The museum is going to be a magnificent addition, visually and culturally, to Blowing Rock."

The building is scheduled to be complete in late summer, and pre-opening events will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 22. The official grand opening will be Saturday, Oct. 1.

"We are planning three parties during the week before the opening," BRAHM executive director Joann Mitchell said. "Each event honors a group that has great significance to the museum."

The Sept. 22 party will be for donors to the capital campaign, which funded the construction of the building. On Saturday, Sept. 24, BRAHM will host all current museum members for a pig roast. And Sunday, Sept. 25, will be the BRAHM Community and Family Day, featuring free admission and special activities for families and children.

Once open, the museum will offer rotating exhibits and educational programming for all ages. The building features a 1,500-square-foot education center, where art classes will be held, and a 1,300-square-foot multi-purpose room, which will be an ideal location to hold lectures, receptions and meetings.

Three exhibits are planned for the grand opening, each of which will highlight the overarching theme of "What Drew You Here?" The first will be devoted to the life of early 20th-century American artist Elliott Daingerfield, who spent nearly 50 summers and built three homes in Blowing Rock.

The second will focus on the geological feature/tourist attraction that gives the town its name: The Blowing Rock.

And the third will trace the evolution of Blowing Rock's fine hotels, which became popular in the early 1900s.

"We want visitors to reflect on the powerful forces that have been drawing people 'up the mountain' since the 1800s, and even earlier when you consider the American Indians who resided here," Mitchell said. "Throughout it all, travelers have come to the mountains seeking inspiration, good health and adventure. Our three opening exhibits, and exhibits that will follow, will celebrate these elements."BRAHM isn't waiting idly by while the building is being completed. Visitors and residents can take advantage of a number of events planned for this summer:

July 21, Third Thursday, "George Washington's 1791 North Carolina Travels" by Warren Bingham;
July 28-31, Annual Blowing Rock Art and Antiques Show, Blowing Rock School Gymnasium;
Aug. 11, Third Thursday (NOTE: While this is part of the BRAHM Third Thursday Lecture Series, this event will be on the second Thursday of the month), "How to Read a Painting" by Charlotte's Mint Museum of Art curator, Jonathan Stuhlman;
Sept. 15, Third Thursday, "The Art of Photography" by Doug Holstein.

For more information about the museum or the scheduled events, call (828) 295-9099 or visit http://www.blowingrockmuseum.org.

The mission of the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum is to promote the visual arts, history and heritage of the mountains through educational programs, exhibitions and significant permanent collections.

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