Take a stroll through downtown for Art after Dark

·3 min read

Aug. 3—Stroll through galleries to see some special artist presentations at the next Art After Dark coming up Friday.

The first Friday of the month brings another round of Art After Dark 6 — 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5 in downtown Waynesville and Frog Level. Galleries in the downtown area will stay open late.

"We are thrilled to have Art After Dark back on the calendar after a long COVID hiatus," said Downtown Waynesville Executive Director Beth Gilmore. "We have encouraged all downtown merchants to get in on the fun by extending their hours and providing an art experience of their own."

Participating Art After Dark Galleries include: The Corner Station, Curatory Gallery, Axe & Awl Leatherworks, Metzger's Burl Wood Gallery, Sun Sohovic Art Gallery Studio, Jo Ridge Kelley Fine Art, Handmade in Haywood (Haywood County Arts Council), Twigs and Leaves Gallery, Green Hill Gallery and Pennington Art Gallery.

She said participating merchants usually include Sassafras, 828 Market, Robin Blu, Affairs of the Heart, Spenceberry Antiques, Old Brick House and Blue Ridge Beer Hub.

There will be demonstrations, music and refreshments for the public. This event provides the public a way to get more involved with the art community in a festive way.

Carrie Keith, owner of Twigs and Leaves, said Art after Dark has been running for about 24 years.

"As galleries started to appear downtown Waynesville, the owners created Waynesville Gallery Association," said Keith. "The group came up with the idea to create enthusiasm for the arts with an evening event. It's always the first Friday of the month, May through December."

There will be sidewalk musicians and additional attractions provided by the town of Waynesville for the festivities. These include face painting and a paint-your-own-pottery mobile art wagon.

"During the COVID pandemic, one of the many hardships was advising guests that we were not having Art After Dark in respect to not encouraging social gathering," Keith said. "As a very popular event, we are excited that after a two year pause, Art After Dark is returning to fill Main Street with art, music and friendships."

The Haywood County Galleries Association started Art After Dark years ago with the Downtown Waynesville Association as a way to draw attention to Waynesville's eclectic art scene and to provide a good reason for both guests and local residents to venture downtown on a Friday night.

"Art After Dark has grown to be a highly anticipated event providing a fun evening filled with art, music and food," said Keith.

Colored pencil artist and participating gallery owner, Teresa Pennington, has been a part of Art After Dark since its inception and has watched it grow through the years.

"Art After Dark has long been one of the best gallery strolls in Western North Carolina," said Pennington. "We are happy to be back after a pause, not of our own making. We are grateful that Waynesville is better and stronger than ever, having lost no Main Street businesses due to COVID."