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Appalachian students and community to host Elk Knob ‘Art Raising’ event Nov. 10

BOONE—The public is invited to participate in the creation of two site-specific art pieces Saturday, Nov. 10, that will provide a window into the unique cultural and natural history of the Elk Knob Community. EKCHO Community Art Day runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1401 Meat Camp Road.

View larger imageThis image is the mural Appalachian State University students have designed for a historic store in the Elk Knob Community as part of a public art plan developed by the Elk Knob Community Heritage Organization (EKCHO) in partnership with the Watauga Arts Council.

Individuals and families can bring small objects – such as broken plate pieces, gems, pictures, stones, broken wood – that represent their family or the community. These will be incorporated into the artwork.

In 2009, the Elk Knob Community Heritage Organization (EKCHO) partnered with the Watauga Arts Council to create a public art plan for the Elk Knob Community. The plan outlined a series of site-specific works.

This fall, EKCHO partnered with a class at Appalachian State University to start to make the art plan a reality. The students worked with the Elk Knob Community with help from their professor, Appalachian studies faculty member Tom Hansell.

The project involves two pieces: an iron tree on the Meat Camp side of Elk Knob and a mural on the Pottertown side of the mountain. The students have worked to ensure that the art they make is deeply connected to the people and places surrounding the Elk Knob State Park. The class is supported by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Teaching Project.

Objects brought by the public Nov. 10 will be incorporated into stepping-stone molds and/or hung on the iron tree. For the Pottertown mural, community participants will also be encouraged to make handprints that will enhance the mural’s beauty.

The event will include live music performed by Appalachian student Brian Swanson, as well as a potluck of food provided by those willing to bring a covered dish.

The final locations of both art pieces are as follows. The iron tree will be “planted” at Pat Kohles’ home at 1401 Meat Camp Road and the mural will be placed on the Old Eller Store on South Road.

The Elk Knob Community Art Plan is sponsored by EKCHO, a non profit organization, the Appalachian Teaching project of the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Honors College and Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. The tree is being created and designed by local welder Zachary David Smith-Johnson, who will be present at the Community Art Day to introduce his work.

For more information, contact Tom Hansell at 828-262-7730 or http://doc.appstate.edu.

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