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Auction, Gallery Opening and Celtic Harp Concert at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

Julia Burr in a big sod sack. Photo by Gale Jackson

Auction, Gallery Opening and Celtic Harp Concert at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

By Jessica Klarp

March comes in like a lion at Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BMCA) where the month roars to a start with one of the most fun auctions in town. It’s a no-holds-barred bidding war that is not to be missed.

The 12th annual Auction for the Arts takes place on Saturday, March 4, at 6 p.m. with a sumptuous catered reception and silent auction followed by a live auction around 7 p.m. Hundreds of excellent items—from entertainment discounts and packages, gift certificates, textiles, pottery and jewelry to vacation accommodations, sculpture, musical instruments, sports equipment, prints, furniture and creative packages—are up for bid.

“We don’t always have the biggest ticket items,” says Julia Burr, an artist whose unique contribution to the auction is pictured on this page, “but we do have the most fun.” The wine flows freely all night long at this important fundraiser; tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the night of the auction.

A few weeks later, BMCA’s Upper Gallery features an Emerging Artists student show with opening reception from 3–4 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. This free exhibit celebrating spring is devoted to a group of burgeoning artists taught by wildlife and landscape artist Bob Travers. The range of mediums and subject matter in this show reflects the diversity of Travers’ ability to instruct all students regardless of age, experience or desired medium. Travers’ course is one of 30 weekly classes available at the Arts Center.

Then, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, an evening of Irish music will transport you to another era. On Friday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m., Duo Galilei will entertain guests with an evening of Irish music. Tickets are $16.

Duo Galilei is comprised of Celtic harper Sue Richards and Carolyn Surrick on viola de gamba. These two women have been playing together for years in many iterations of Ensemble Galilei, a Celtic/early music crossover group founded by Surrick and made up of five women who have toured the US, recorded fifteen CDs, and written many tunes for the group. They have also played weekly at Walter Reed Medical Complex in Washington, DC, soothing the wounded men and women living and recovering there.

“For this concert we are celebrating the music of Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan who left a legacy of almost 300 tunes, some in Irish jig and reel style, some in European continental style,” says Surrick. “There is no finer combination of instruments for these pieces than Celtic harp and viola da gamba.”

So celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by listening as each instrument brings its soulful voice, each musician her unique understanding and love of this repertoire. This is an unforgettable, brilliant evening of Irish music.

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 West State Street. The Upper Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 828.669.0930.

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