Artists from Asheville and Waynesville are gathering for tea— and a good cause—on Sunday, June 4, from 3:30 to 6 p.m., at Waynesville’s Chestnut Cottage. The event, which gives 20 artists creative freedom within the house and grounds of this privately owned home, is a fundraiser for the First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville.
Artist Margaret Roberts came up with the idea when it was discovered that the 1907 church structure needed extensive restorations. “It hit me one day as I drove past the Greeleys’ house,” Roberts said. “Their magnificent garden was in bloom. A tea! Not just any tea but one that spotlighted Western North Carolina’s fabulous wealth of artists.” Roberts, along with several others who are participating, is a former cover artist for The Laurel.
Mediums used by the juried artists include oils, encaustics, fiber, wood, glass, porcelain, watercolors and natural elements. Participating artists, along with Roberts, are Luke Allsbrook, Nancy Blevins, Jenny Buckner, Stephen St. Claire, Molly Sieburg Courcelle, Lee Ann Fergeson, Steve Davis, Julia Fosson, Suzanne Gernandt, John Gernandt, Mark Harmon, Michael Hofman, Cheryl Keefer, Jo Ridge Kelley, Kathryn Phillips, Bee Sieburg, Matt Tommey, Susan Strazzella and Cindy Walton. Proceeds from art sales during the event go to the artists.
A teacup-shaped boxwood topiary is the subject Sieburg chose to paint. “It is so inspiring,” she says of the home’s garden. “Everywhere you look there is a wonderful feature you want to paint.” Kathy Greeley, who with husband Wells owns Chestnut Cottage, is an interior decorator and author of The Collected Tabletop. A blog on her website, Tales from Chestnut Cottage, details her ideas for the home and grounds that will serve as inspiration for the artists.
Some of the artists, Allsbrook among them, chose to paint en plein air. “My paintings are about the world I observe around me. I want the viewer to receive a gift when looking at my paintings, to experience the same feelings I felt as I painted my subject.”
Tommey finds materials for his woven sculptural works in the natural world. “Each of my works is one of a kind,” he says, “and reflects the simple elegance of nature.” For the tea, he will create “a tabletop sculpture using branches and other natural elements from the Greeleys’ garden.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, call Kristi Siplon at 828.456.3243. Tickets, limited to 100 sold, are $100 each. A shuttle to the site will be provided at The Waynesville Inn.