Toe River Arts Council opened its 10th anniversary exhibition of metal work from blacksmiths participating in downtown Spruce Pine’s Fire on the Mountain Festival on Saturday, April 2. Held in conjunction with Fire, the exhibition gives visitors an opportunity to view iron arts and crafts in a gallery setting and to learn more about the nationally acclaimed smiths. And in grand finale style, TRAC will host the always-fun free pizza and beer reception at the gallery on Festival eve, Friday, April 29th, from 5 to 7pm. The public is invited to share in the evening and meet these talented artists.
TRAC has been displaying blacksmith work for a decade and recognizing one master blacksmith each year. This year’s Master Blacksmith is Jay Burnham Kidwell. His work will join the talents of exhibit participants Kurt Schultz, Rachel Kedinger, Aaron Deshields, Jeff McDowell, Zack Nobel, Theron Ross, Gail Beavers Wall, Eric Ryser, Dave McDonald, Eddie Rainey, Corey Thomas Cook, Paul and Pat Spainhour, Paige Davis, Rebecca Snavely, Jason Lonon, Norman Rabek, William Locke, Zen Douglas, Matthew D. Clark, Liam Hoffman, Seth Gould, and more to come.
This year, Klingspor Abrasives, with U.S. headquarters in Hickory, NC, is sponsoring several awards. In addition to an award for the most outstanding tool, two awards will recognize innovation and craftsmanship, a third for the best crafted tool. A fourth will be a special People’s Choice Award. Throughout the exhibition, visitors will vote for their favorite work; one artist will win a handcrafted blacksmith tool by Seth Gould. Voting ends Friday, April 29, at 5pm and awards made during the reception.
The Annual Blacksmith Exhibition runs through April 30, ending the evening of the Fire on the Mountain Festival. For more information about the Toe River Arts Council exhibition, please call 828.765.0520, or visit the www.toeriverarts.org. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10:30am to 5pm. The Fire on the Mountain Festival takes place on Saturday, April 30, from 10am to 4pm in downtown Spruce Pine. Please visit www.downtownsprucepine.com for information.
The Toe River Arts Council is a not for profit organization promoting the arts in Mitchell and Yancey Counties, and supported by donations, memberships, local government, grants (including the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, a state agency), and supporters who understand the benefit of art in our community.