The Mountaineer

April 25, 2022

The Haywood County Arts Council unveiled the exhibit Mother Earth at its newly renovated Haywood Handmade Gallery in downtown Waynesville just in time for Earth Day and will run through May.

The Mother Earth exhibit challenged artists to create artwork with a sustainability and stewardship theme, using recycled materials if possible. Each artist explores the theme in different ways.

“By attempting to reflect the astonishing beauty and powerful gift of our natural surroundings, I hope I’ve communicated the importance and need for vigilance in sustaining Mother Nature’s sacred home,” said Laura Parker, artist of the piece called Sacred Mother.

The exhibit is also a call to action for residents and visitors to be stewards of Haywood County’s natural resources, said Morgan Beryl, HCAC executive director.

The arts council is hosting Mother Earth Saturdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. through May to increase awareness and encourage involvement in local environmental group efforts.

The line-up includes:

• April 30: Great Smoky Mountains Association

• May 7: Appalachian Wildlife Refuge

• May 14: WNC Climate Action Coalition

• May 21: Smathers Farmers & Public Market

Past Saturdays featured Haywood County Soil & Water and the Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the arts council gallery is selling locally written and published children’s books by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

“The books we chose educate youngsters about the different local animals, how to care for them, and why they are important,” Beryl said. Book purchases will support both the arts council and the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

The Haywood Handmade Gallery is located at 86 N. Main Street. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays.