Artsy Life

in the NC High Country

Inspired by the surrounding majestic mountain views and supported by an active arts community that includes galleries and schools, High Country residents of all ages and talent levels embrace their inner artist.

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It should come as no surprise that the North Carolina High Country has a thriving arts scene, which is why retirement in the High Country is so popular. After all, the land itself is a masterpiece. Anyone looking for inspiration need only look out their back door to see a mesmerizing portrait of rolling mountain landscapes that changes to become something even more beautiful with every season.

This majestic inspiration has spurred many a High County resident to take brush to canvas in the pursuit of brilliant artistic endeavors. Over time, this abundance of artistic brilliance evolved into a healthy arts scene bristling with opportunities to view magnificent works of art or create some of your own.

You’ll find some of the area’s most celebrated artists at…

Retirement in the High Country - Art Cellar

Gathering of the Artists

Located in Banner Elk, The Art Cellar has become a crown jewel in the local arts scene following 25 years of carefully curating a collection of works from the finest local, regional and international painters and sculptors.  To mark the occasion, the gallery will be running an exhibit titled, “Artist Invitational: The Next 25 Years” featuring regional artists on the gallery’s “It” list.

Think you’d like to be one of the hottest High Country artists of the next 25 years? Get your start at…

Florence Thomas Art School

West Jefferson’s Florence Thomas Art School celebrates one of the High Country’s most revered artists with workshops and continued instruction to help artists from beginner to experts refine their craft. A year-round calendar of workshops run the gamut from color theory to watercolors, and offer instruction in every artistic endeavor from painting to chair caning and rug hooking. In addition to the school, they also host a rotating array of exhibitions at the school’s gallery, including a three-month display from the North Carolina Watercolor Society during late 2017 and early 2018.

Once you’ve honed your craft, you can get more involved by joining…

The Watauga County Arts Council

Headquartered in Boone, the Watauga County Arts Council exists to nurture the arts scene throughout the county, maintaining gallery space for member artists and helping members navigate the application process for various artistic grants. A regular schedule of workshops embraces every aspect of the arts, from drawing and painting to music classes teaching everything from piano to violin. Their gallery space hosts a variety of regional artists, and will include an open exhibition of holiday originals to close out 2017.


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