From the Editor ~ October 2020

Breathtaking foliage of red and yellow, piles of orange pumpkins, startlingly blue skies. It must be autumn in the Southern Appalachians.

Gina Malone, Editor

It’s no surprise that our artists find inspiration in October’s palette. This month, American Folk Art presents Color Stories, a celebration of two key components of folk art and the artists at Asheville Gallery of Art present Fallscapes. And from our Cover Artist Pamela Haddock’s portfolio, we have chosen for our cover Listen to the Season, a beautiful work evoking all of the majesty of fall in the mountains.

We’ve dabbed color here and there throughout the magazine. A book feature on Blue Mountain Poems. Botanical notes on the stunning red maple. An appreciation of the brilliant, stained-glass beauty of monarch butterflies, migrating over our mountains this month.

With this autumn issue, as we do every October, we dedicate a special section to our artists of fine craft. Enjoy meeting makers in an array of mediums, including wood, fiber, paint and pottery.

With nonprofits, like many others in this economically dicey time, strapped for funds, new ways of raising money involve cooperative efforts by artists and organizations. We have features on two worthy fundraisers this month: Appalachian Wild’s art exhibit in conjunction with Woolworth Walk and Appalachian Barn Alliance’s partnership with WNC’s Saints of Paint.

It has been a rough spring and summer for all of us. We at The Laurel hope you find yourselves breathing deeply of October’s fresh mountain air and letting your eyes linger on all of the beauty, too soon gone once late season winds shake leaves from the trees. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow found these words for the vibrancy of the season: “There is a beautiful spirit breathing now/Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,/And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,/Pouring new glory on the autumn woods….”

Stay safe, be well and enjoy the season!

Gina Malone can be reached at

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