From the Editor: June 2021

June is one of those months whose name sounds as beautiful as its days are. “Not till June can the grass be said to be waving in the fields,” wrote Henry David Thoreau. “When the frogs dream, and the grass waves, and the buttercups toss their heads, and the heat disposes to bathe in the ponds and streams, then is summer begun.” In the pages that follow, we’ve picked a bouquet of things to see and do as the world, like those sun-loving buttercups Thoreau mentions, begins to open up a little more every day.

Gina Malone, Editor

The best part of putting together an issue of The Laurel each month is being surprised anew at all there is to do in Western North Carolina. With lovely, warm weather upon us, consider taking in a lawn concert at Isis Music Hall, attending Sylva’s lively Jackson Arts Market, admiring the natural wonders of Bullington Gardens or hiking the newly opened Youngs Mountain Trail.

Alec Hall, who paints sublime portraits of animals, is this month’s Cover Artist. “I am not creating life,” he says of his work, “but I am recreating the presence of the life that touched me,” a lovely expression of the goal all of us who call ourselves artists have. Feature Artist Tom Sims references the Arts and Crafts movement to design objets d’art of beautifully finished wood.

Art shows and exhibitions abound in Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Brevard, Marshall and, of course, right here in Asheville. In the River Arts District, artists are commemorating Juneteenth, and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center hosts an exhibition to celebrate Pride Month.

We also have forest bathing, vintage cars and moonshineas we tr y to present to you, our adventurous readers, as many happenings to brighten your days as we can fit onto our pages. Now “is summer begun.” Enjoy!

Gina Malone can be reached at

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