Burnsville smART Community

The Burnsville Gateway is a project of Toe River Arts, the Town of Burnsville and public artist Jack Mackie to create iconic gateways that reflect Burnsville’s history and craft traditions. A series of stunning glass telescopes will mark
the east and west entrances of Burnsville. Inspired by the town’s namesake, Captain Otway Burns, who used a telescope at sea, the gateway also celebrates Yancey County’s designation as one of the world’s International Dark
Sky communities.

Under the direction of artist Jack Mackie, renowned regional artists have collaborated on the design and creation of the colorful glass telescopes. With its proximity to Penland School of Craft, the Toe River region has one of the
highest concentration of craft artists in the country.

The three west telescope markers will draw their colors from Appalachian sunsets, while the three east telescope markers (see below) will echo Appalachian sunrises. Each will be illuminated with LED lights that will glow at night.
Other artful elements will be installed along Highway 19E as construction is completed, complimented by native trees and flowering plants.

The arts in North Carolina have long been a catalyst and cornerstone of downtown and neighborhood revitalization. In 2012 the N.C. Arts Council launched SmART Communities to incentivize more arts driven economic development projects in cities and towns across the state. Even during the recent recession, dozens of new art museums, theaters, and arts centers were built in communities large and small across the state, energizing city centers and small-town main streets. To capitalize on this surge of public and private investment in North Carolina’s downtowns a blue ribbon task force was appointed to create an arts-driven economic development plan for the state. From the task force’s report, the SmART Initiative was born.

What is a SmART community? One broad definition is that these are communities that use their distinctive arts and cultural assets to revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns, instill a strong sense of place and pride in residents, attract creative workers and cultural visitors, and create sustainable economic development.

Click on the links below to learn more about the North Carolina Arts Council SmART Initiative in Burnsville.

Thank you Explore Burnsville for these awesome videos!

Toe River Arts, 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.

Susan Martin | Ron Powell | Rita Ann Meeks | Gary Perko | William Baker | Armin Wessel | Wanda Proffitt | Katherine Owens | Jeanne Tyner | Frances Strawn | Bunnie McIntosh | Jack Mackie | Carl Peverall | Greg Yuzik | Betty Ann & Earl Young | JM Wallace | Don Walker | Martha Tyner | Harrison Tyner | Willis Ryan |
Sherry Robinson | J. Alan Ray | Julia Norris | Patricia McIntosh | Carl & Bill McCullom | Kate Vogel & John Littleton | Ginger Johnson | Carolyn Guthrie | James Gentry |
Christiana Gallant | Barbara & Bill Miller | Norman Rabek | Kat Turczyn | Robin Smith | Marobeth Reugg | Berverly & William Mann | Karen Magner | Deborah D’Aquin |
Denise Cook | Theresa Coletta | Juanity Brown | Joan Glynn | Ellen Denker

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