269 Oak Avenue  Spruce Pine  NC  28777
10:30AM to 5:00PM Tuesday – Saturday


Mtichell County Student Showcase

Reception – TBA

Toe River Arts opens its first exhibits of the year with Student Showcases. In Spruce Pine, the exhibit begins on February 16th. Students in Mitchell county display their talent and brighten this dreary time of the year with color and creativity. Student art is all about splashes of color and intriguing ways of capturing perceptions in artistic forms, and the shows promise to delight the senses.

Keenly aware of the great role art plays in forming awareness and skills in our youth, Toe River Arts views arts education as one of the foundations of its mission. Involvement in the arts results in gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills. Experiencing the arts first hand improves motivation, concentration, confidence, and promotes a teamwork mentality. Merely opening young eyes to new ways of seeing creates the base to forge social bonds and community. And once a year, the arts council celebrates the child, from kindergarten through high school, from public to private to homeschooled with a festive recognition of burgeoning talent.

We recognize and celebrate the hard working, dedicated art teachers. Mitchell County’s art teachers include Marissa Westall, and Leslie Dickerson at the elementary level, Olivia Ellis for middle school, and Melisa Cadell at the high school. And we can’t forget the teachers in the private and home school settings. These individuals spend the entire year developing curriculum-based projects and teaching arts to over 4,000 students. These exhibits continue to demonstrate their dedication to their students and their support of arts in education.

One of Toe River Arts new community funded arts programs is Carousel, which teaches the arts educators a new art form in hands-on workshops. We scheduled a professional development workshop for Yancey and Mitchell county art teachers in October, and provide those who attend with lesson plans and art materials that are otherwise unavailable to use in their classrooms. This year our Carousel program offered paper clay materials. We hope to see some of that new work on display in February.

Mitchell’s Student Showcase begins February 16th and continues through March 16th at the Spruce Pine Gallery, 269 Oak Ave. Gallery hours are 10:30 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday–Saturday. For more information about the exhibitions, please call 828-765-0520 or 828-682-7215.

Whether or not you’re a parent, grandparent, neighbor or friend, these two exhibits are worth the drive into town. Kids learn when they are told they can. And what is on the walls and atop the pedestals shows how much they’ve been paying attention.



Toe River Arts is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 to promote the arts in Mitchell and Yancey Counties and funded in part by a Grassroots Art Grant, through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, a state agency, both Mitchell and Yancey County Schools, and the Yancey County Community Fund.

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