The Arts are Alive in Clifton Forge!
The Arts Community Celebration offers an exciting glimpse of various arts and crafts in our area from September 14 through September 17, 2023. Arts presentations are scheduled daily including Fine Art (Painting), Performing Arts (Dance & Theatre), and Crafts (Quilting, Woodturning, and more)! Partners include A1 Studios, Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center, Alleghany Arts Council, Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce, Blue Spring Run Farm, Clifton Forge Main Street, Clifton Forge School of the Arts, C&O Railway Heritage Center, Cora Dance, Four Moons Designs, GPS 819 Company Dance Team, Jack Mason’s Tavern & Brewery, Lollie’s Quilt Shop, The Historic Masonic Theatre, Town of Clifton Forge and What’s Your Story. The Arts Community Celebration begins in some venues at 10:00 a.m. on September 14 and exhibits, events and demos run from 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
This is the fourth year that the arts organizations and downtown businesses in Clifton Forge have united to present amazing arts and crafts. Bigger and better are the terms that describe this year’s event with a new Arts Market selling from booths set on Commercial Avenue on Saturday and Sunday. All are combining forces to show the versatility of arts and crafts in the area. The Arts enrich our homes, wardrobes, offices, public spaces, as well as contribute to our national economy, our balance of trade, and the fabric of our national history. Many would say the arts provide sanity in a complicated world. Arts and crafts are original, beautiful, and enduring, and the Arts Community is displaying the creativity that exists in this area.
Executive Director, Connie Baker, of the Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center remarks, “The Arts Community Celebration is a joint effort between the arts venues in Clifton Forge and many of the Downtown merchants so the variety of exhibits, music, dance, storytelling and hands-on demos and entertainment make this event unique. The planning committee meets months in advance with a sincere effort to help all the venues shine and put their best foot forward. This year we are adding The Art Market of vendors in order to showcase even more versatility.
In addition to many arts and craft displays, demonstrations and quilt and art exhibits, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., A1 Dance Studio Cora Dance, and GPS 819 Dance Company will bring music and dance to the streets of Clifton Forge on the Bank Plaza. From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a guided tour of the Historic Masonic Theatre including video will be available free of charge. All of the above occur on Saturday, September 16.
Please check the schedule which will be posted at each participating venue and online at https://artscommunitycelebration.com. Other activities include a “Women in History Quilt & Art Exhibit coordinated by Kaye England”, and a” Photos” Exhibit by Chuck Almarez at The Historic Masonic Theatre; Alleghany Highlands Arts & Craft Center will present “Realism to Abstraction” Exhibit by Lori McMahon and Clifton Forge School of the Arts will display a weaving exhibit coordinated by Christina Gramm. Lollie’s Quilt Shop will provide Long-arm Quilting demos with a computerized program on Thursday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You can try your own hand at this. C&O Railway Heritage Center and will be open during their regular hours in addition to offering a workshop for children on Thursday and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Art Market is open on Commercial Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 16 and from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 17.
Check with the participating venue to be certain of the time, and if you have questions. The schedule of events is listed below and is current as of this writing. All demonstrations, exhibits and displays are free of charge. For brevity, Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center is referred to below as AHACC, Clifton Forge School of the Arts is CFSotA, Historic Masonic Theatre is HMT and JMT is Jack Mason’s Tavern.
The Historic Masonic Theatre is honored to open the third floor WestRock Room for the Arts Community Celebration to showcase a unique quilt and artwork exhibit, “Women in History”. The “Women in History” exhibit coordinated by Kaye England, includes 22 quilts that honor women as diverse as Lucille Ball to Harriet Tubman to Eleanor Roosevelt to Helen Keller, all who left their mark in many different ways on our universe.
Whether the woman was a wife of a president who also impacted legislation, or an avid abolitionist, a world-renowned comedian who ran her own business, or a blind and deaf woman who accomplished more than anyone thought possible, these women should be honored and remembered.
In addition to some of the quilts, art accompanies the stitched piece and also tells a story. For example, with the Helen Keller quilt is an original framed letter that Helen typed on her Braille typewriter.
This exhibit is not to be missed and will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16 and from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 17.
An additional exhibit by photographer Chuck Almarez will be open the same days and hours as “Women in History” in the second-floor Skylight Room.
Alleghany Highlands Arts & Craft Center presents the “Realism to Abstraction Exhibit”. The exhibit showcases colorful paintings inspired by the natural beauty of the mountains and valleys of Virginia, painted by Lori McMahon of Rockbridge Baths, VA. The exhibit is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 14, 15 and 16, and from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 17.
Clifton Forge School of the Arts will host an awe-inspiring weaving exhibit that celebrates the intricate art of weaving and the boundless creativity of talented local artists and artisans throughout history. This exhibit showcases a diverse array of woven masterpieces, each telling a unique story through threads and textures. From traditional to contemporary, the exhibit features an exceptional collection that highlights the versatility and beauty of this time-honored craft. The exhibit is coordinated by Christina Gramm and is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, September 14, 15 and 16.
Thursday, September 14 demonstrations include: Artisan Soap Making by Debrena Gordon at 11:00 a.m. at the AHACC, Wreath Making by Buddy Carter at 12:30 p.m. at the AHACC, C&O Kid’s Locomotive Painting at 2:00 p.m. at C& O Heritage Railway Center.
Friday, September 15 demonstrations include: Caricature Painting by Sabrina Burks from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at AHACC, Painting Fall Décor by Nancy Smith at 11:00 a.m. at AHACC, Joe Wood Woodworking Demo at 11:00 a.m. at CFSotA, a Pottery Demo by Cyndy Littleton at 12:30 p.m. at CFSOTA, and Stretching a Canvas by Frankie Denton from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at AHACC
Saturday, September 16 demonstrations include: Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, Season Showcase Video at 10:00 a.m. at AHACC. GPS 819 Dance Company at 10:30 a.m. on the Bank Plaza, A1 Dance Studio at 11:00 a.m. on the Bank Plaza, Cora Dance (four performances) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Bank Plaza, Caricature Painting by Sabrina Burks from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at AHACC, The Art of Building Your Town’s Story, by Telling Your Own by Joan Vannorsdall and Chuck Almarez at 12:30 p.m. at AHACC, C&O Kid’s Locomotive Painting at 2:00 p.m. at C&O Heritage Railway Center, Precious Metal Clay Demo by, Mar Jimenez, 3:00 p.m. at AHACC.
Sunday, September 17 demonstrations include: Caricature Painting by Sabrina Burks from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at AHACC, Woodturning by Troy Cottrell at 12:30 p.m. at CFSOTA, Barn Quilt by Pam Hirt at 2:00 p.m. at AHACC.
Saturday Art Market Vendors on Commercial Street unless otherwise indicated include: Nancy Newhard, Acrylic & Mixed Media Paintings; Judith Lochbrunner, Acrylic & Mixed Media Paintings; Rockbridge Camera Club, photos; Amelia Waring, Multimedia; Leigh Ann Woodward, Acrylics/Mixed Media; Perry Payne Millner at JMT, Watercolor, Acrylic, Leather Goods; Jennifer Hise, Acrylic; Pam Hirt, Barn Quilts; and Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, Tickets to Upcoming Events.
Sunday Art Market Vendors include, Nancy Newhard, Judith Lochbrunner, Rockbridge Camera Club, Amelia Waring, Leigh Ann Woodward, Perry Payne Millner, Jennifer Hise, Pam Hirt and Alleghany Highlands Arts Council.
In addition to the arts and crafts community, area restaurants will be participating and open during specified hours. Restaurants include: Jack Mason’s Tavern and Brewery open Thursday through Sunday. Hours are Thursday, September 14 from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday, September 15, 16, 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; 42 Deli open Thursday and Friday, September 14 and 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Mountain Field Market open Thursday and Friday, September 14, and 15, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and on Saturday, September 16 from 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m.; Michael’s New York Style Pizza open Thursday through Saturday, September 14, 15 and 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and The Way Coffee Shop open Thursday and Friday, September 14 and 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Livy’s Closet on Ridgeway will be offering free cold apple cider at their store during the Arts Community Celebration.
The Arts Community Celebration Committee members invite you to join the celebration as many times as possible during September 14 through 17. Enjoy the magic that arts and crafts provide to our world and our community.
For more information, explore the participating venue’s websites and Facebook pages. Visit the Arts Community Celebration website at artscommunitycelebration.com and facebook.com/artscommunitycelebration