By EUGENIA L. JOHNSON
Swain County Center for the Arts will celebrate its tenth anniversary with an evening of storytelling, music, art, door prizes and fun for all on Saturday, Sept. 25. The festivities begin with a fundraiser dinner in the high school cafeteria at 5:30 pm and a silent auction from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm in the lobby of Swain County Center for the Arts. These two events are sponsored by Swain County Schools Foundation to raise money for instructional scholarships. The entertainment in the Center for the Arts auditorium begins at 7:00 pm and is free to all.
Following a presentation of the colors and the pledge of allegiance led by JROTC of SCHS, the program will feature music by dulcimer player Lois Hornbostel, Blue Grass/Gospel band the Rye Holler Boys (Jacob Jones, Adam King, Will Howell and Alan King), and pianist/vocalist Kathy Wiggins along with Native American storytelling by EBCI tribal member Lloyd Arneach and Appalachian storytelling by Tim Hall. SCHS Vocal Ensemble, directed by J. Gilbert, will sing excerpts from the musicals that have been performed at Swain County Center for the Arts during the last ten years. The grand finale will be a jazz piece by members of SCHS concert band directed by Karen Williams and a rousing cheer by SCHS cheerleaders directed by Sherry Wright.
Former Swain County Schools Superintendent, Robert White, will recognize those involved in making his vision to have an Art Center for Swain County a reality. Current Swain County Schools Superintendent Bob Marr will recognize current school board members and county commissioners, as well as high school principals since 2000. Director Eugenia (Jenny) Johnson, will present a brief history of the last ten years of the arts at Swain County Center for the Arts in a slide presentation.
Most of the 211 pieces of arts and crafts in the permanent art collection will be on exhibit throughout the month of September. The exhibit showcases a variety of media and techniques that range from realistic to abstract by 86 artists and artisans. Most of the artists live and work in Western North Carolina. Media represented include: watercolor, pastel, acrylic, oil and mixed media paintings; drawings in pen and ink, marker, charcoal and pencil, sumi-e or Japanese brush painting; batik on fabric; photography; computer enhanced photography; wood carving; stone carving; pottery, baskets, quilts, fabric wall hanging; crochet; stained glass; copper sculpture; copper enameling; masks made of several materials; handmade paper; wood display cases and easels; and even a log cabin complete with miniature people and furnishings. Thirty-four of the pieces exhibited were created by Native American artists from Cherokee. Most of the artwork was donated by the artists. Thirty-one pieces were purchased with North Carolina Arts Council funds through the Grassroots Arts Program grant.
To purchase tickets for the steak dinner for $25 in advance call Swain County Schools Central Office at 828-488-3129.
You may view the on-going exhibits at Swain County Center for the Arts during all public events or call Eugenia (Jenny) Johnson at 828-488-7843 for an appointment. Go to www.swain.k12.nc.us/cfta to view the current calendar of events or to get directions to the Arts Center located at Swain County High School in Bryson City, NC.
Eugenia is the director for the Swain County Center for the Arts.