By Scott McKie B.P.
One Feather staff
The Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts is gaining steam, and its students and instructors showed that spirit off last week as they hosted a Christmas Art Show on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
“What we have here is the accumulation of a semester’s worth of work from the students at OICA,” Joel Queen, OICA executive director, said of the show. “We are going to continue to expand upon this program and hopefully build a four-year degree program.”
OICA currently operates under Southwestern Community College and offers an Associate’s degree in Fine Arts. “We have a lot of good students here who are willing to learn and we have a very laid back atmosphere,” said Queen. “We make learning very easy and we accomplish a lot of work at the same time.”
Sarah Osterman is an OICA student who specializes in drawings and paintings – specifically anime’ style. “It’s really great here. The people are really nice.” She praised the instructors for helping her to “reach a new level” with her artwork.
Jane Brashear and her daughter Deana Burchette are both OICA students in the weaving program. Both came to weaving and the school from a desire to try something new.
“I originally was going to go into horticulture,” said Deana who recently switched her major to Fine Arts. “But, this doesn’t bore me to death.”
Jane jokingly describes herself as “a burnt-out nurse”.
She related, “I took this as an elective and just thought ‘I’m going to spend the rest of my time doing something that I really like and enjoy.”
She continued, “I call this sometimes my therapeutic weaving class because while you’re there you sort of become oblivious to everything else going on.”
OICA officials called the show a success and related that many student pieces were sold during the event.
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