Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Aug 31, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg Suzanne Gernandt, who creates mixed media fiber work, is one of the six Women of NoHa. Their show, "Piercing the Mundane," is currently on display at Gallery 86.

When I think of art, two seemingly contradictory things run through my mind. I believe that art, both visual and performing, is completely necessary for survival — and yet absolutely easy to overlook. On a basic level, I think we need to see paintings and plays and pretty colors to thrive. I also think we tend to put it off like crazy. We, and I mean I, don’t always make it to the theater or to the gallery, let alone the art-supply store. Sometimes this neglect is about money and sometimes it’s about time. But mostly, I think it’s about forgetting how much art feeds us ---— and reminds us of the magic in the world .

This week, I’m hungry to buck that trend. I want to remember that art is not extra, but integral. Luckily, there are plenty of places around the county to get a fix this week.

Meet the Women of NoHa

An old “Garfield” TV cartoon once told my little kid self that the one thing a group of people can never agree on is pizza toppings. I think the organization of an art show might run a close second, however, which is why I’m amazed by the Women of NoHa. These six artists, who all proudly live in the rural reaches of Haywood County, have come together to create a beautiful, seamless exhibit, despite the fact that each one has a completely different style. Between the fiber, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media, paper and wood, “Piercing the Mundane,” now at Gallery 86, could look like a hot mess. Instead, it’s a piece of art itself. I’m sure I’ll be visiting this communal collage of a show a few more times before Sept. 22, when it comes down. I’ll also be chatting with the Women of NoHa this Friday night during “Art After Dark.” Won’t you join me? For more information, visit

Improve your art-itude

It’s true that I recommend “Art After Dark” and the “Saturday Stroll” every month, but I just can’t get enough of these downtown art walks. I’m only human, and the combo of art, wine, music and munchies gets me every time. Though I love the galleries on Waynesville’s Main Street, this week I’m going to do my best to expand my art horizons and make it to the walks’ farthest reaches — like The Lone Backpacker Gallery and Grace Cathey Sculpture and Art Garden, both on Depot Street. Remember, “Art After Dark” takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, and “Saturday Stroll” continues the day after from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit or call 452-9284.

‘Tea Time’ with Miss Barbara

Part of me is amazed by Barbara Bates Smith, Haywood County’s resident master of the one-woman show. And I think part of me just wants to be her. I mean, how great would it be to make a living doing your art — and to do it so well? In recent years, you’ve probably seen Smith in “Wit,” “The C-Word” or her signature piece, “Ivy Rowe,” and you’ve surely noticed her ability to morph into whomever she likes and draw you right in. Regardless of whether she’s playing a hard-bitten Appalachian lady or simply herself, she makes you believe. Amazing. Next week, she’ll be doing it again with “This Ain’t Your Mama’s Tea Time,” a new program of “quirky lady” stories from North Carolina writers, complete with musical accompaniment by Jeff Sebens. Catch the show at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the Senior Resource Center at 81 Elmwood Way in Waynesville. Call 452-2370 for more info.

Find your inner roller girl

For reasons relating to my general lack of balance and smoothness, I wrote roller derby off a long time ago. But that doesn’t mean you should. From 7 to 9 Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Haywood County Fairgrounds, the Thunder Road Roller Girls are opening their arms wide for new members. Women of all experience levels (including no experience at all) are invited into this sport that’s part therapy, part exercise and part theater, and has been going like gangbusters across the country for years now.

Think it might be right for you? Well, you don’t know until you try. Call 450-2653 or visit for the straight skinny.