Artists celebrate First Friday in Floyd

Friday nights in Floyd Virginia are a celebration of country music, and on the first Friday of every month the artists of Floyd join in with art exhibits and receptions all over town.

Art lovers and artists flocked to the Art Under the Sun Gallery to see the latest offerings from Flame Bilyue, Karen Sewell, Gretchen St Lawrence, Pat Woodruff, Andrea Marshall, Cheryl Mackian and Tina Liza Jones. Visitors caught up on the latest news while enjoying tasty snacks and listing to the music of Andrea Marshall.

Next door at Wildfire Pots, McCabe Coolidge and Karen Day welcomed visitors with new pottery designs and stories of last month's work on St Johns Island in the Caribbean.

McCabe and Karen are also spearheading the local Empty Bowls campaign in Floyd which provides food for hungry school children. Their mission statement can be expressed as: WildFire Pots – Nourishing Community Bonds, Feeding People, Kindling Generosity. They are good people.

Up the hill at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts, their First Friday event featured 300 works and 55 models by members of the Floyd Figures Art Group. The Breezeway Gallery displayed details about their upcoming classes along with work produced by the instructors.

 The Jacksonville Center also had live demonstrations of Handmade Paper with Lee Chichester, Cookie Decorating with Lora Mahaffay, and Polymer Clay Beads with Teri Walters.

The economy is slowing down, but our local artists are supporting each other and keeping the vision of better times alive by creating beauty and inspiring others to create also. Almost every one of these local artists go out of their way to encourage new artists.

Every year we see a new crop of gifted people becoming active in the arts because of the cooperative spirit of these talented and generous Floyd artists. It is a great place to live if you have creative talents that you want to release.

The young lady on the right is an aspiring writer. She is getting valuable exposure to creative activity because her mother works at the Jacksonville Center. She is just one of many who are inspired by the supportive community of artists who work and teach there.

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