Arts Council showcases Bethel Rural Community Organization

May 28, 2014
Bethel Presbyterian Church painted by Dominick DePaolo

The month of June is a celebration of Appalachian heritage in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

The Haywood County Arts Council, as part of the June "Mountain Made" exhibit is proud to feature the Bethel Rural Community Organization.  Recognized throughout the state for its rural preservation efforts, it has received grants and awards to place over one thousand acres of Haywood County farms, rural and wilderness in conservation easement.

The Historic Preservation Committee is keenly aware of its mission to document, preserve, and educate about their local history.  The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has granted one of three Heritage Trail Markers located in Haywood County to the Bethel Rural Community Organization.

Two state history awards from the North Carolina Society of Historians have been granted, and the 2008 DVD, "Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us," earned the Paul Green Multi-Media Award in 2012.

Evelyn Coltman, with assistance from Historic Preservation Committee members, has collected and written six books, "Legends, Tales & History of Cold Mountain, Book 1-6." In 2010, the books were recognized with the Barringer Award of Excellence.

In 2013, the Committee extended the lifespan of its popular Cold Mountain Heritage Tour which occurred from 2005-2011 by compiling a Cold Mountain Heritage Tour CD that allows visitors to drive to significant historic sites in the Bethel Community.

In 2012, three outstanding local artists, Dominick DePaolo, Janice Swanger and Gary Woolard, were selected to paint historic sites in Bethel. These paintings along with seven photographs/drawings of historic significance from local families and the North Carolina Handicrafts in the Shelton House have been made available for purchase in high resolution  giclee' prints, courtesy of photographer John Rolland. Haywood County Arts Council will feature these art pieces during the June "Mountain Made" exhibit.

The exhibit opens June 4 and runs through June 28, 2014. The Art After Dark Reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. June 6 at Gallery 86 is located at 86 North Main Street in Waynesville.  Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday- Saturday.