‘Why do we have to normalize what’s already normal?’

During the pandemic, Asheville-based artist Pearl Renken wrestled with the pain, isolation and racial reckoning happening in the United States. Her first instinct during that time was to paint, very literally, the pain she was seeing, the hate that felt abundant. 

The human canvas: Sylva artist channels creative spirit through tattooing

It’s Monday evening. A heavy rain is soaking Sylva and greater Jackson County. Passing by the Sylva Shopping Area, the empty parking lot is illuminated by the bright lights of Harold’s Supermarket. The rest of the plaza is closed and dark, save for one bright light at the end of the row, a large window with the word “tattoo” emblazoned on it. 

Works of late Cherokee artist part of massive collection

When Dr. Michael Abram thinks of the late Cherokee artist John Daniel “Dee” Smith Sr., he can’t help but smile reminiscing about his old comrade. 

“We were really good friends and I miss him. We used to sit talk about Cherokee art and history for hours,” Abram said. “He would paint on anything. Artists just have that urge to create with anything around them. Anything is art, and Dee saw that.”

Journey to the top of Soaring Mountain

Sitting at a low desk in a cozy nook of her mountaintop studio and gallery, Margaret Pennington Roberts, brush in hand, contemplates a canvas perched precariously on an easel.

Falling into photography: the art of Bill Killillay

When you take in the totality of photographer Bill Killillay’s work, you might think it comes as the result of intensive schooling at some fancy film or art school. But you would be wrong. In fact, you might say he just fell into it.

Sylva selects muralist

A muralist has been chosen to create the painting that will soon decorate a blank white wall on Mill Street’s Ward Plumbing and Heating building. From a field of 21 applicants, the Sylva Public Arts Committee selected Brevard native Aaron Harris for the job. 

Eye of the beholder: Outdoor photographer shares love of the craft

Catch him if you can.

For the last few years, Steve Yocom has made quite a name for himself as one of the premier outdoor photographers in Western North Carolina and greater Southern Appalachia. If it wasn’t for his wild and wondrous images of the great outdoors, of iconic spots or off-the-beaten gems, you’d truly have no idea where he was at any given time.

Between the lines tells the story: Waynesville woodworker carves into passion

When you are in the presence of the woodwork by Ben Grant, you find yourself captivated by the contours of his pieces.

Behind the scenes: Artist brings theater productions to life

Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville is fortunate to be one of few theaters to have a talented scenic artist on staff. Not only does Lyle Baskin produce some of the most stunning backdrops for HART productions, but the backdrops also allow the theater to make money by renting the pieces out to other theaters throughout the country.

• HART’s traveling backdrops wow theaters far and wide
HART’s scenic artist sets the stage for drama
Six life lessons from a backdrop artist

HART’s traveling backdrops wow theaters far and wide

Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is known for is top-rate shows and high-caliber acting not typical of community theaters.

But HART has a well-kept secret that pulls its stage action together, a secret that’s hidden in plain sight of audiences, always noticed but rarely noted: its stunning backdrops.

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