Arts Heritage/History

4th Annual Pastoral Palette Art Gala Helps Preserve WNC’s Historic Barns

Closer to Home. Claire Simpson Jones, artist

The Appalachian Barn Alliance (ABA) and the Asheville Saints of Paint present the 4th annual Pastoral Palette Art Gala on Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1. The event is a fundraiser to support the mission of these groups to honor and protect the barns of Western North Carolina’s heritage.

The event will take place on the campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical College (A-B Tech) in the Ivy Building. Designed by Willis Irvin in 1936, the Ivy Building served as the auditorium and gymnasium for the Saint Genevieve-Gibbons Hall School and was restored in 2018. “The oak entry doors evoke the same sense of nostalgia and appreciation for workmanship as the corner notches of the historic barns we are working to preserve on the Smith Farm in Mars Hill,” says Sandy Stevenson, ABA board president.

Spring Wren. Claire Simpson Jones, artist

Claire Simpson Jones is a watercolorist who will be participating in the Pastoral Palette Art Gala. “The mission of ABA is important to me because it aligns with my own beliefs and mission,” she says. “I wish to capture, through painting, our rapidly diminishing natural habitats and a way of life that was more in harmony with nature. Any organization that puts forth such a great effort to preserve and document American history or our natural environment touches my heart on a deep level. “

The weekend kicks off on Friday with an evening gala from 5:30–8 p.m. featuring food and music as well as the opportunity to peruse several paintings for sale. On Saturday, June 1, the sale will open to the public with a free event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ticket sales for the Friday evening gala and 50 percent of artwork sales on each of the days will benefit the work of the ABA in reconstructing two historic barns on the Smith Farm at the Bailey Mountain Preserve.

“I expect this year’s ABA gala event to be special and unique since it is taking place in the recently and beautifully restored Ivy Building on the A-B Tech Campus,” says Jones. “With so many extraordinary artists exhibiting this year, the show should be a great success.”

The Ivy Building is located at 10 Genevieve Circle just off Victoria Road on the A-B Tech campus. Find event details and tickets at For more information, call 828.380.9146 or email

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