The Appalachian Barn Alliance (ABA) and the Madison County Arts Council (MCAC) combine efforts to present Barns of Madison County, an exhibition that was held annually until the onset of COVID. The mission of the ABA has attracted visual artists—both painters and photographers—who want to preserve a place, a view, a building and a memory with their craft. The group has also commenced hosting its Saints of Paint Pastoral Palette Art Gala and has brought back the Barn Photo Workshops. Barns of Madison County will run throughout September.
The free opening reception will be held at MCAC in Marshall from 5–7 p.m. on Friday, September 8. Chances to view the works will continue Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which are the Arts Council’s regular hours. Additionally, the exhibit will be open to the public on Thursday, September 21, from 5–8 p.m. A portion of sales will benefit the work of the ABA to continue its preservation of the rural heritage of Madison County.
Expect to see some familiar names from past exhibits as well as some new ones. “As a newcomer to Western North Carolina, I have been thrilled by the beauty of the rolling, tree-covered hills and the farms and barns that cover much of the area,” says photographer Woody Eisenberg, who has led the last few photo workshops. “Working with and supporting the Appalachian Barn Alliance has been a key part of better understanding the culture, history and art of this area.”
Several artists from The Saints of Paint are pleased to be back in Madison County where they are inspired by the barns that dot the landscape along rural roads. “Today, our area is in peril of losing its history,” says landscape painter Mark Henry. “The barns on our farms are monuments that need to be saved. They were a way of life in our past. As I capture their images on paper or canvas, it fills me with love for their meaning. In my artwork, I hope to convey their strength, their purpose and their way of life. Each barn has a story, especially during the full-moon time. What stories dance in these barns on a full moon night?”
Learn more at MadisonCountyArts.com/events/barn-month-exhibit-2. The Madison County Arts Council is located at 90 South Main Street, Marshall. To learn more about Appalachian Barn Alliance or to donate, visit AppalachianBarns.org.