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Turchin Center hosts Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition and Pieces of the Puzzle: Community Outreach

By Lynn Rees-Jones

BOONE, N.C.—Two exhibitions that occur annually at Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, “Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition” (AMPC) and “Pieces of the Puzzle: Community Outreach,” will open on March 3, which coincides with the First Friday Downtown Boone Art Crawl. The exhibits at the Turchin Center change multiple times a year so visitors can explore new art every several months.

View larger image“Brother Carol,” an entry from the 2016 Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. Entries in the 2017 contest are on display at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts March 3 to June 3. Photo by James K. FayView larger imageThe Turchin Center’s arts and education outreach programs allow artists of all ages to experience the power and excitement of creating art. Photo submittedView larger imageHidden Talents features the collage, alcohol inks and painting of adults from the historic Junaluska Community. Their artwork is part of the “Pieces of the Puzzle” exhibit on display at the Turchin Center. Photo submitted

New Exhibitions

“Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition”
In its 14th year, the AMPC provides amateur and professional photographers an opportunity to showcase their interpretation of the unique character, people, places and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians. The categories include Adventure, Blue Ridge Parkway, Culture, Our Ecological Footprint, Flora/Fauna and Landscape.Over 900 entries were submitted and the jury panel selected 48 finalist images, which are on display in the Mezzanine Gallery beginning March 3. Visitors to the Turchin Center are invited to participate in the People’s Choice Award selection through March 24. The public can cast votes at a computer voting station in the gallery or vote online:

The jury that selected the 48 finalist images and the final award winning photographs consists of two highly accomplished photographers and artists at Appalachian State University. Andrew Caldwell is an assistant professor of commercial photography, as well as a practicing commercial and contemporary fine art photographer. Ann Pegelow Kaplan is an assistant professor in the Department of Cultural, Gender, and Global Studies.

All awardees will be announced on Saturday, March 25, at the screening of the Banff Film Festival and through media outlets. Rich Campbell, associate director of Appalachian’s Outdoor Programs, said, “We are excited about the images this year. We are particularly thrilled about the number of ASU students who had images selected this year for the highly selective competition.”

The AMPC is a partnership between Appalachian’s Outdoor Programs, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and the Virtual Blue Ridge. The AMPC provides support for the university’s Outdoor Programs and their extended expeditions, which are educational journeys of discovery that take students around the world. The competition is generously sponsored by the Mast General Store, and supporters include the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Nikon Cameras, Stickboy Bread, Bistro Roca, Peabody’s, Smoky Mountain Living, Footsloggers of Blowing Rock and Appalachian Voices. Visit the AMPC for more information:

The “Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition” exhibition will be housed in the Mezzanine Gallery from March 3 to June 3.

“Pieces of the Puzzle: Community Outreach”
The Turchin Center’s arts and education outreach programs connect the university arts resources to a diverse audience of students, arts patrons, teachers and learners. There are many “pieces of the puzzle” of the Turchin Center’s outreach programs and each piece strengthens community participation in the arts by creating an environment in which individuals of all ages experience the power and excitement of creating art.This exhibition celebrates the process of art making and of free play that participants experience when they respond to color, texture and design in the world around them. According to Pegge Laine, outreach coordinator, “When participants let go of the voice that says ‘but I am not an artist’ they allow their creative spirits to soar.”

Participating outreach groups include the following:

Hidden Talents features the collage, alcohol inks and painting of adults from the historic Junaluska Community. They have come together through art and now share with one another encouragement and support while relieving stress and promoting healing.

Beyond our Walls highlights the art of adult clients from Watauga Opportunities. They support and encourage one another as they create work from the heart and strengthen self-esteem through each project completed.

Healing Arts offers opportunities for homeless children and adults at the Hospitality House and Raven Rock. This provides a safe haven and creative play while creating small art projects to take with them during their journeys.

The Artist Within is a six-week expressive arts program for third and fourth graders and focuses on self-esteem, goal setting and problem solving which allows them to identify and express their emotions. This program is sponsored in part by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Cooperative.

WYN with Art allows adolescents in the Watauga Youth Network a relaxed atmosphere to express their feelings, concerns and hope for the future through art.

Inkalicious is an open studio experience for community members and Appalachian students to explore the magic of alcohol inks.

Blazing Easels allows students age 7-12 an opportunity to create masterpieces while learning about art and artists of different cultures.

The “Pieces of the Puzzle: Community Outreach” exhibition is sponsored in part by Appalachian Home Care and will be housed in the Community Gallery March 3 to June 3.

Art fans are encouraged to visit the Turchin Center during an Exhibition Celebration Friday, April 7, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Continuing Exhibitions at the Turchin Center:

  • A Thousand Steps, A Thousand Stitches: Narrative Quilts by Susan Sharpe (ends May 6)
  • Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm by Ken Abbott (ends May 6)
  • Studio Practices: Penland 9 (ends June 6)
  • Collective Vigilance: Speaking for the New River (ends July 29)

Visit for detailed information on all the exhibitions.

For more information, contact Lynn Rees-Jones at 828-262-7309 or

To download high-resolution images, visit

About the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Located on 423 W. King St. at the crossroads of campus and community, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University engages visitors in dynamic and accessible exhibition, education, outreach and collection programs. These programs inspire and support a lifelong engagement with the visual arts and create opportunities for participants to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, and noon – 8 p.m. Friday. The center is closed Sunday and Monday and observes all university holidays. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. Learn more at

About Appalachian

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.