Welcome to the Toe River Arts Council

Promoting The Arts In Mitchell And Yancey Counties Since 1976



Saturday May 14, 2016 Burnsville “rain or shine”



April 16 at the Burnsville TRAC Gallery, Barbara McGuire in Bees and Beads in Polymer.


May 21 at the Arts Resource Center, join Barbara McGuire in her Encaustic’s Wildflower Workshop.



Jon Ellenbogen of Barking Spider Pottery shares his insight into running a successful crafts business in this special 2-hour workshop on Tuesday, May 10 from 10AM to noon.


  • Scheduled at a special time for parents of school children.

gabions_homepageDesigner and national known public artist/planner Jack Mackie, who has worked closely with the Toe River Arts Council, the NC Arts Council, NC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the community, will be working with local artists to begin fabrication of glass elements during the next few months. Final implementation of the project on US Highway 19E will take place 2016-2017. The Gateway project is a key part of the NC Arts Council’s SmART Initiative for Burnsville that focuses on arts-driven economic development strategies to build stronger economies and communities.

The proposed artwork will showcase the work of local resident, regional, and national artists that will tell the story of Burnsville and reveal its treasured inventiveness, artistic heritage, rural mountain setting, and vision. The artwork will highlight our community’s unique characteristics: its artists, the Dark Sky designation, its minerals and stone, the seven of the mountain peaks east of the Mississippi that are over 6,000 feet, and Burnsville’s and Yancey County’s history, culture, and people.

The art will be both beautiful and practical. We envision artist designed benches, beautiful walkways and lighting, and other streetscape elements as well as dramatic artwork that will draw visitors and residents to our Town. Also, art and aesthetics will positively impact the economy and the community. We forsee a stronger and more vibrant downtown with more restaurants, galleries, increased entertainment options, and more downtown residents. Working with Healthy Yancey, the artistic vision will encourage walkability and more physical activity. We will build a strong arts market that will increase income for both Yancey and Mitchell County artists.

Toe River Arts Council, in collaboration with the Town of Burnsville and the NC Arts Council SmART Initiative, has partnered with Yancey County, NCDOT, Yancey County Economic Development Commission (EDC), and many community partners, businesses, and residents.

What does the smART Initiative have to do with Economic Development?

Glass Blowers at Penland

Glass Orbs - 1st Batch

Glass Orbs - 1st Batch

Glass Orbs - 1st Batch

Glass Orbs - 1st Batch

Glass Orbs - 1st Batch

Gabion prototype

Prototype gabions pictured above are approximately 1/10 the actual completed size

Phase I of the Burnsville SmART Public Art Plan began with glass artists—Rob Levin, Kenny Pieper, David and Hayden Wilson, and Courtney Dodd—working with Jack Mackie, a Seattle designer and public artist/planner, at Penland’s glass studio. Please take a few moments and watch the videos Chanse Simpson made for this first phase of the project. Part I Part II

Phase II will follow at the end of the year with final installation scheduled in 2017. Can you help support our community in creating and celebrating its unique identity and place? Don’t forget to include your name, address, phone, and email. We’ll keep you informed.

yjt_300x420COMING JULY 9


Silent Auction Begins June 18

8 x 8 Exhibition Begins June 18






< “Red Lily” by Yaffa & Jeff Todd Photograph by Mary Vogel




10th Annual Black Exhibit

April 2-30

aftalogo1 As of December 17, 2015, 292 study regions across the United States have already signed up for Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, the fifth national economic impact study of America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry by the non-profit organization, Americans for the Arts. In North Carolina, the Toe River Arts Council is among 30 other arts organizations who will be surveying their communities in the next 12 months to determine just how the arts do impact the economic climate in their area. Arts organizations around the area will be asking a few questions so please take a moment of your time and help us quantify the benefit of the arts for a thriving community.

The work of the Toe River Arts Council is made possible through support from: NCAC_Logosm    NEA_Logo    cfwnc_logo    edaMCC Logo NoCat big Golden Leaf    unitedway    waanc     PrintBRNHAshield_72 YanceyFundweb And from John & Robyn Horn Foundation, Samuel L. Phillips Foundation, Blumenthal Foundation, Mountain Air Residents Community Fund, The Foundation for Bluegrass Music, Young & McQueen, A.J. Fletcher Foundation, and the Towns of Burnsville and Spruce Pine.

Also, we thank those patron/members and their businesses that continue to be major supporters of the arts council.

Michael and Serey Andree Don and Doris Baucom Carol Benjamin George and Patti Bennett H. Allen Benowitz JJ Brown and Simona Rosasco Paul and Frances Burton Jerry and Marilyn Cade Bill and Judy Carson Bruce and Judy Carter Clyde and Dot Collins Joann W.Collins Denise Cook David Cort Judy Crouch Paul and Susan Crutchfield Warren and Diane Edwards David and Yvonne Evans Catherine Faller Mike and Betsy Fleenor Ken and Lori Gilcrist Howell and Beverly Hammond Glen and Florence Hardymon Gwendolyn Ann Harris Karen Head Victoria Hicks Morgen and Tamara Houchard David and Alice Houser Carl and Jean Johnson Peter and Karen Kennedy Charles and Becky Kind Walter and Thanna Kulash Delphia Lamberson David and Susan Larson Jerry Leaders Russell Lee and Renate Schuchardt Hal and Holly Levinson John Littleton and Kate Vogel Susan MacLean Peter Maneck and deJarnette Wood Dennis and Tina Matelski Jeffrey and Starli McDowell Barbara Middleton Eugene Morgan Cynthia Nash Joseph and Susan Norris James and Linda Oubre Gina Phillips Louis and Genevieve Pugh John D. Richards and Claudia Dunaway Richard Ritter and Jan Williams Stuart Rosenfeld and Mary Eldridge Ron and Kay Goins Royer Michael and Ruth Rutkowsky Col. Walter Savage Scarritt Law Group Kenneth and Connie Sedberry Corrine Shilling David and Fran Strawn Taylor and Stephanie Townsend Kathleen Turczyn Jennifer Turner Ted and Teresa Van Duyn Don and Karen Walker Jason and Rebecca Warner Jim Waters and Robin Warden Dorothy Watson Virginia Wearn Oscar and Amy Weinmeister Elizabeth Westveer Yardy and Barbara Williams Alston Osgood Wolf Arch and Carol Woodard Kimberly Young Chuck Young and Deana Blanchard

We want to stay in touch.

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