The Mountaineer

September 26, 2021

“Bear, Elk, Trout – Oh My!” is the Haywood County Arts Council’s next exhibit, opening Friday, Oct. 1 at its Main Street gallery in downtown Waynesville.

Artist members were tasked with exploring Western North Carolina’s unique ecosystem through the wildlife that calls it home. The exhibit includes local animals of all kinds, in a variety of mediums from photography to sculpture.

The exhibit is sponsored by Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, a local nonprofit saving orphaned and injured wildlife. “Appalachian Wildlife Refuge is proud to sponsor this exhibit. Local artists explore the diversity and abundance of our mountain region, and we hope visitors to the gallery will gain a greater appreciation for the wild world around them,” said Savannah Trantham, the nonprofit’s executive director.

HCAC and Appalachian Wildlife Refuge are partnering to put on an interactive opening reception Friday, Oct. 1. Starting at 5 p.m., Appalachian Wildlife Refuge will have box turtle ambassadors on display for gallery goers to get a close-up look.

“We are excited to bring our animal ambassadors to compliment the incredible local art that shines a light on the region’s wildly wonderful inhabitants, and the unique ecosystem we are lucky to call home.” said Trantham.

Gallery goers who would like to support the wild ones are challenged to bring an easy to pick up item to donate that will help the refuge care for wildlife in need. A complete wish list can be found on the refuge’s website at

To stay within the animal theme, Possum on a Whale will be playing music at the gallery from 5:30- 6:30 p.m. “Possum on a Whale is old time band based out of Haywood County, who enjoy contributing to a thriving mountain culture through playing traditional Appalachian tunes,” said Sadie Wicker, the band’s lead.

Finally, HCAC will raffle off two general admission tickets to the upcoming Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival planned for Oct. 23. For a $5 donation, people get the chance to win two tickets to the festival. “This is a $70 value for a $5 donation to an event that is really going to celebrate the arts surrounded by the beauty of Maggie Valley during the peak leaf season. You can’t go wrong,” said Morgan Beryl, HCAC executive director.

The exhibit runs Oct. 1-30. A demonstration by Wendy Cordwell, a participating HCAC artist member who will demonstrate a torn paper painting technique, is planned for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn more at