Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Home Sweet Home: The Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center


I grew up in the mountains of WestERN Virginia (the “ern” is very important) in a small town called Clifton Forge. I think I spent my entire young adult life dreaming of ways to leave, find new exciting places and not be labeled as a kid from the country. As an actual adult now, I have started to deeply appreciate all the amazing things that little community gave me. While small in size, it is anything but small in heart.

One place I spent a great deal of time was the Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center located in downtown Clifton Forge. It’s a beautifully run and kept building filled with paintings, exhibits and art of all shapes, mediums and sizes. My mother always had a “hands behind your back” policy, and would often take us down to see the new pieces and lovely made crafts in the Center Shop. I still walk around galleries that way to this day.

In the summers, I was able to take classes from making paper mache bowls to creating 3D sculpture boxes. I remember my sculpture box class the best because I was a bit older and while the instructor patiently tried to go through specific steps for measuring and folding, in usual Meghan fashion I “knew what I was doing” and totally botched the whole project. Instead of being upset with me, the sweet lady said “You know, I’m like that too. Trial and error is more my thing.”

Recently, I was encouraged and have decided to submit the Sweet March dolls to the Center Shop to be juried. This will be my first jurying of any kind and I’m super excited. Of course I’m excited at the possibility of being accepted but I think I’m more looking forward to some impartial feedback. It’s always great to understand what can be improved, remastered, focused on. I sincerely look forward to the critique!

If you’re ever in the Alleghany Highlands area, this is a MUST STOP. Walk around, say hello to the volunteers and support this amazing establishment whose quality and dedication to the community is unparalleled. I know that the center and the people who worked there and supported it had a huge impact on my life even if I didn’t realize it at the time.