Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | May 25, 2012
Photo by: Donated photo Liz Spear's colorful clothing will be included in Gallery 86's latest show, "Celebrating Appalachia." The show opens this Thursday, with an artist's reception Friday night and a special appearance by dulcimer maker Molly McCurdy Saturday morning and afternoon.

Sometimes I forget we live in such a gentle place. I take for granted that there’s not much traffic to speak of (except when pulling into Ingles, of course), and that it’s virtually impossible to pay for parking anywhere in the county. It slips my mind that strangers feel almost obligated to smile to one another on the street and that when I take pictures for the paper, people are never suspicious, even when I forget to announce who I am. After nearly two years here, I have to remind myself that not every place is like this.

A trip to the “big city” of Asheville usually does the trick. But instead, I’ll happily stay in the bubble this week. Here’s what I hope to have on my plate.

An artful evening (and afternoon)
After growing up in the car-clogged suburbs, it feels so European to simply step outside my workplace and directly into “Art After Dark” — which is to say that I love it. From 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, June 1, many of Waynesville’s galleries and shops will be open late in honor of this monthly salute to art and culture. Main Street is the hub of the activity, though I’d definitely check out Depot Street and Frog Level, as well. While plenty of galleries will have goings-on, my personal pick is Gallery 86, which usually has my favorite pieces of the night — and the best spread of good eats. This Friday, it will host the opening for “Celebrating Appalachia” (a show that does exactly that) and the next day, during the new “Saturday Stroll,” dulcimer maker Molly McCurdy will demonstrate her craft. Throughout the “Stroll,” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., I recommend checking out other galleries, too, as many will have special events and guests. For more information on either event, visit or call 452-9284.

The pull of tractors

Before I landed this job at the Mountaineer, I wrote a “practice” story for the paper that happened to be on the Ole Smoky Antique Tractor and Engine Association’s Spring Farm Fest. The free event has had a special place in my heart ever since. You can see why this Friday and Saturday, when antique tractors and their fans fill the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Even if you think old-time equipment isn’t your thing, I say give it a try. There are more stories tucked inside those old John Deeres and Fords than you could ever believe. And there are vendors, a daily parade and tractor rides for children, too. Call 508-1627 for more information.

Quirky quilting
The Shady Ladies are practicing an art centuries old, but let’s be clear: This is not your typical quilting circle. The group of fiber-loving females aims to expand the boundaries of the medium, as they’ve done this year with their show, “Pushing Tradition.” The exhibit, which runs this Friday through Sunday at the Lake Logan Episcopal Center, features new quilts with old — but artistically tweaked — ideas.  Each Shady Lady took one of three traditional quilt patterns (Ohio Star, Log Cabin or Double Wedding Ring) and made it her own. I haven’t seen the results yet, but I can only imagine they’re colorful, creative and nothing like any spread that’s ever been on my bed. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 456-8885 for more information.

Questions, questions
I often feel strange recommending events I’ve never attended, but I’ve lived this life long enough to know that trivia nights are across-the-board awesome, especially in small towns. It’s just more fun when you know the people you’re outwitting (or being outwitted by) in the realm of ’80s pop songs, book titles, European capitals or whatever. Luckily, trivia-hungry locals have at least two options in the county (and if there’s more, please alert me). The Tipping Point Tavern has been hosting raucous group trivia nights, starting at 7 p.m. every Wednesday, for months now. Now, the Maggie Valley Club & Resort’s Pin High Bar & Grille is getting into the action, too. Starting Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., the bar’s group trivia contests look promising. Call the Tipping Point, 190 Main St., in Waynesville, at 246-9230 for more information, or Maggie Valley Club at 926-6013.

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