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Summer Art Workshops being offered by Cullowhee Mountain Arts

FRANKLIN, NC -- A new arts organization is offering a series of summer workshops in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cullowhee Mountain Arts will begin the workshops on June 17, 2012 on the campus of Western Carolina University. The workshops will continue through August 3.

The organization's director, Norma Hendrix, is a well-known visual artist and educator in the region.

"We strongly believe that the arts are vital to the life of every community and that all art thrives when there is community support," Hendrix said. "We started Cullowhee Mountain Arts with its Summer Visual Arts Series as a way of supporting and encouraging individual artists and enlivening this wonderful place where we live in WNC. But this is just the first stage. We hope to become a leader for the arts in Western North Carolina and a resource for the region. This year we are launching our program in Visual Arts."

Cullowhee Mountain Arts Summer Visual Arts Series will offer 24 week-long workshops in painting, drawing, printmaking, book arts, ceramics and mixed media as well as a youth and teen art workshop. The instructors are leaders in their field from all over the US, many with a national and international reputation. These instructors will offer 5 day intensive instruction, guidance, demonstrations, and personal interaction with students. There are workshops for every level, from beginner to advanced. "By having several workshops going on at the same time, students will be surrounded by artists working in different media and inspired by the creative community," Hendrix said. Each week the visiting artist/instructors will present slides, demonstrations, studio talks and open portfolios. One week, July 2–6, is dedicated to Youth, with art camps and workshops being offered for young artists and Teens.

susan demchak
Watercolor painting by Susan Demchak who will be one of the instructors for the June workshop. Born in the Midwest, Susan Demchak received her training at the University of Michigan where she met and traveled with a group of plein air painters. She first visited Florence Italy and then Scotland and Ireland before returning to the United States. Susan received the prestigious Trafford Klots Artist Residency in Rochefort en Terre France. She has exhibited in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, France and Italy. Susan is currently represented by three galleries and teaches at the De Cordova Museum Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. She lives in Massachusetts, continuing a time-honored tradition of island painters.

Lisa Pressman, whose work is widely exhibited, will teach encaustic and embellishment at the June workshop. Encaustic, the oldest form of painting, combines beeswax and damar resin. Pressman will show various ways of combining it with mixed media. She will guide students in using the medium with assorted color and mark making techniques, including pigment sticks, pastels, graphite, and collage to create layers of depth and translucency.

Select graduate students and interns will help provide staffing for Youth Workshops and the professional series. Housing is available on campus for CMA students, and comes with a meal plan and a campus activity card.

Cullowhee Mountain Arts is now accepting registration for the summer workshops. More information and a complete list of programs is available at

Published May 7, 2012

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