Arts Communities Heritage/History

Pastoral Palette Gala Benefits Appalachian Barn Alliance

Lower Flat Creek, Daylily Farm. John Mac Kah, artist

The Appalachian Barn Alliance (ABA) is partnering with The Saints of Paints to host the 2nd annual Pastoral Palette benefit gala. The event will take place on Friday, June 3, from 5:30—8 p.m. at Echoview Fiber Mill in Weaverville. Proceeds from the event will support ABA’s researcher and the work required to create a Heritage Farmstead. “Our organization has documented close to 100 historic barns in Madison County through architectural drawings, photographs and data forms detailing information about use and how they were built,” says ABA president Sandy Stevenson. “But, most importantly, we gather the stories about the family and the barn which is the heart of our work. This information is used to build self-guided driving tours, is uploaded to our database and will be the basis of a display at the Smith Heritage Farmstead. The farmstead, which the ABA is now helping to develop in partnership with the town of Mars Hill, will be a showcase of the different architectural styles of southern Appalachian barns.”

Pastoral Palette will feature food from Fig, Whole Foods, HomeGrown and Sweet Monkey, as well as a selection of wine and beer courtesy of 5 Walnut Wine Bar and Mad Co Brewing Company. There will also be banjo and fiddle music by David Hughes as well as live painting by Rebecca King Hawkinson. The gala features work by 14 Asheville-area artists in watercolor, oil and ceramics. The Saints of Paint is a collective of artists whose works reflect a deep appreciation for the natural environment and the dignity of human rights. The group partners with nonprofits to help raise money for their mission.

This year marks The Saints of Paint’s 10th anniversary and its third year partnering with ABA. “The Saints of Paint is pleased to collaborate with the Appalachian Barn Alliance and share their mission to preserve heritage barns and farmsteads of our area,” says John Mac Kah, curator for The Saints of Paint. “We sincerely wish that everyone enjoys the evening and this collection of inspired paintings of the skilled, hand-crafted structures built in Western North Carolina.”

The location of the gala is especially apt: the owner of Echoview Fiber Mill, Julie Jensen, grew up on a farm in Iowa and used those memories to design her business and her building. “Once the Appalachian Barn Alliance realized how much we had in common, it was an easy step to ask Echoview to host our gala,” says Stevenson. “After all, the building materials are symbolic, representing the three main types of barns found in North Carolina. The red rusted steel reflects the old red barn style; the cypress wood will silver to the color of a tobacco barn; and the galvanized steel and aluminum represent contemporary pole barns. Both organizations truly wish to preserve the memory of what the barn in southern Appalachia represents.”

Echoview Fiber Mill is located at 76 Jupiter Road, Weaverville, a quarter mile from Interstate 26 at exit 15. Tickets to the gala are $40 for ABA members and $45 for the general public. Individual sponsors or “Barn Raisers” will have first choice of the art with early entry at 5 p.m. Learn more at or call 828.380.9146 to purchase tickets or inquire about sponsorship.

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