Email or call our Watauga County Commissioners to thank them for their support of a renewed lease for five more years!
Our original lease was set to expire on April 15, 2015. With the new 5 year renewal, that gives us 69 months to be at home at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace and to Grow! All five Commissioners were very complimentary about all the great things we’ve been able to accomplish in just over one year. A motion for a 5-year lease was made by David Blust, seconded by Nathan Miller. The vote was 4 to 1 (the lone “nay” vote was by Billy Kennedy). There must be a 10 day waiting period so final approval will be given at the August 19th meeting of the County Commissioners.
If you would like to thank our Commissioners for their support, the contact information is provided on this page.
- In May of 2013, having just finalized our lease with the Watauga County Commissioners, the Watauga County Arts Council repaired and updated the building.
- With the assistance of over forty volunteers, we have invested over $23,000 in improving the facility. A significant portion of this was offset by donations from area businesses totaling almost $9,000.
- We held our Grand Opening on June 8, 2013.
- Since then the Blue Ridge ArtSpace has hosted nearly sixty (60) gallery exhibitions showcasing the work of artists of all ages and from all parts of the community.
- We have begun our visual arts workshops and have been able to present ten (10) very successful workshops for community members plus a children’s drawing class which meets weekly.
- We have a scholarship program which helps those who can’t afford workshops fees to participate.
- We have processed over two hundred sixty (260) sales through our Gift Shop which features the work of over seventy (70) local artists.
- Through our partnership with the Community Music School, we have been the site of over nine hundred (900) hours of music lessons to date.
- We have also presented six (6) workshops designed to advance the entrepreneurial skills of our working artists through a partnership with Handmade in America and Watauga County Economic Development Commission.
- We have hosted monthly 2nd Saturday Celebrations of the Arts featuring openings for all fifty-six (56) gallery exhibitions to date and offered over seventy (70) artist demonstrations.
- We have also held our first arts festival and hosted a variety of meetings including the monthly AWE (Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs) meetings and the High Country Potters Guild meetings.
We have plans for the future to:
Grow our workshops and classes to much bigger levels, serving even more families and individuals. Some of our ideas include summer camps for children at ArtSpace, family workshops, more business workshops for artists, after-school workshops for children to come here to be safe and learn until parents can get off of work, and lunchtime workshops for employees in the area to enjoy.
Develop a Sculpture Garden beside the building (on the side of Shadowline Drive)
Gain more and more visibility for our Gift Shop and work to make it the place people think of when they want to purchase handmade items, gifts, and unique things for themselves and others.
Continue and increase all the wonderful things listed above!