Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…. Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful at farmers markets and in our own little gardens. Happenings like Folkmoot, the Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival offer up weekend opportunities for music, food, culture and fun. And celebrations of July Fourth in Sylva, Burnsville and Waynesville remind us of what draws us together as a country rather than what drives us apart.
The artists we talk to often mention their wish that art be a soothing common ground when so much rhetoric divides so many these days. An exhibition at Asheville Area Arts Council, De-construct to a New Paradigm, features the work of seven artists inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King’s words: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
We offer our Crafts section in this issue, visiting with artists throughout WNC who bring much knowledge, skill and ingenuity to the many heritage crafts and individual innovations they create. Check out our Feature Artist Nathan Favors, who says that he is eager to go to his lathe every day, inspired by the uniqueness of the wood that Mother Nature provides.
With our Cover Artist this month, we celebrate youth and the promise that every generation brings forth a fresh batch of artists with new perspectives and ideas. Franke Prince is just 15 years old, our youngest Cover Artist to date, but—inspired by older artists all around her—she is already creating with the mindset that art is what she wants to do with her life.
Whether you’re paddling one of our beautiful rivers, watching the Anything Floats Parade or ziplining through the treetops at Navitat, browsing galleries, watching a play or listening to music, live easy in July. Like all good things, summer is over before you know it!