Stina's Picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Jan 21, 2013
Photo by: Stina Sieg Above, Tyler Doffin and Taylor Harkins dance the night away at Winter Pickin' in the Park, returning this Friday night from 7 to 10 at the Canton Armory.

It doesn’t matter if you’re leaving town for a day or a decade; the problem is always the same. There is only so much time. I am an eternal optimist, always thinking I’ll get things done in advance and that I’ll be sitting pretty by the time I’m set to leave. In reality, of course, I’m usually shoving the damp clothes I didn’t have time to fully dry into a bag as I head out the door. I’m sure my leaving Waynesville, even though it feels so monumental and important to me, will be no different. Why clean and pack and plan when I can soak up the last bits of Haywood County and those I love in it?
There are so many people I want to see before I go, so many goodbyes I dearly need to give. I’m sure I’ll fall short, and I’m already feeling sad because of it. Here are a few things I might do if the planets do align and I am, magically and for once, completely on time.

Down-home dancing
The more things change in the world, the more community dances seem to stay the same. Isn’t it great? I don’t care if you’re in Colorado, Connecticut or Haywood County — there are few things that bring people together like live music and a dance floor. This weekend, if you’re motivated (and well hydrated), it’s possible to dance three days straight, and never even have to tote around a partner. This Friday night, from 7 to 10, Canton is hosting its second-ever Winter Pickin’ in the Park at the town’s armory. If it’s anything like last time, expect big crowds, fun music and cloggers aplenty. The Hill Country Band will provide the tunes, while the Green Valley Cloggers and Southern Mountain Fire will do the dancing. On Saturday night, the Fines Creek Community Center is the spot for a more intimate evening of music and dance, this time with the band Carolina Misty and an appearance or two from the J. Creek Cloggers. The dance is also from 7 to 10 p.m.

If your feet are still itching after those two, I say head on down to The Gateway Club’s ballroom from 2 to 4:30 p.m Sunday for the always-wonderful Waynesville Contra Dance. A true lesson in give and take, listening and overall letting go, the old-timey experience will feature callers Tom Calwell and Myra Hirschberg and the band Out of the Woodwork. This is my last opportunity to urge you out to contra, so hear me when say I with complete love and encouragement: Go, go, go.

Elemental art
The alchemy of art that goes beyond painting and drawing blows me away. It’s not just that it’s amazing that something can be heated and cooled into a fine piece of ceramic, glass or metal sculpture — it’s that it can be done with so much intention, precision and beauty. As a former (2-D) art student, I am in awe of those who go after these tricky mediums. You might be, too, after checking out “Fire & Ice: Pottery, Glass, and Metalwork,” the latest art exhibit at Gallery 86. The show, which features well-known locals from Cathey Bolton to Grace Cathey to Terance Painter, has been up since Jan. 16, but if you haven’t seen it, don’t feel too bad. It’s continuing through Feb. 9, and this Friday night you can even meet the men and women behind the masterful work. A reception, complete with artist tales and tons of tasty morsels, will go from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery, 86 N. Main St., Waynesville. You can learn more at or

Asheville, anyone?
I always love when I can say there’s no need to leave Haywood County for fun, and so I’m holding fast to that this week. But if you happen to want to explore beyond the county line, there is plenty for you to do. On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the always out-there, always polarizing Margaret Cho is doing a double-header at The Orange Peel, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Also on Wednesday, and continuing through Sunday, Buncombe Turnpike’s Tom Godleski is presenting his storytelling/musical/visual art/theatrical collage, “Fresh Preserves,” at NC Stage. The show, which tells the true-life mountain tales Godleski grew up hearing, runs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Finally, and this is a long shot, cult rocker Morrissey is playing The Orange Peel at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. The show is sold out, and has been for months, but I’m a believer that all things are possible, and if I weren’t hitting the road that same day, I’d be trying to make something happen. I’m not sure who you have to be sweet to/blackmail to get a ticket at this point, but I can assure you it will be worth it.

"Moz," by the way, happens to be playing Tempe, Arizona, the day before I start my brand-new job. In a tear of breathless excitement, I bought a ticket this weekend. It’s only a little piece of coincidence or magic or silliness, but as strange as it might sound, it makes me feel better about this far-flung step forward.