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Although Galax has not received authorization from USDA Rural Development to advertise for construction of the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, the school is rapidly growing. It now has a schedule of some available classes and the staff has been working on marketing and fundraising strategies.
Galax City Council received a progress report from Chris Shackelford, director of the art school, at its Aug. 11 meeting.
“We’ve really hit the ground running and have had a successful five months,” said Shackelford. “And we’ve been playing off of the city’s successes.”
Chestnut Creek has held classes during the Leaf & String Festival and Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention. Through the efforts of promoting the school at the fiddlers’ convention, the Web site www.chestnutcreekarts.org received more than 900 hits last week and 5,000 to date.
More than 22 children during the fiddlers’ convention attended CCSA classes and learned to play guitar, weave and make hats.
The school’s permanent home will be in the old First National Bank building at the corner of Grayson and Main streets downtown. The city bought the building, but has been waiting on approval to begin renovations from the agencies that provided funding, like Rural Development. Until that building is ready — the opening is targeted for 2009 — classes will be held at outdoor venues or in the Vaughan Building beside the Galax Public Library on West Stuart Drive.
“We’re extensively serving the area, serving the visitors and various groups in the area, whether they’re home-schoolers or seniors,” said Shackelford.
Chestnut Creek staff attended a conference about developing a creative economy based on its natural assets. The school has partners throughout the community, such as the Matthews Living History Farm and Matthews Forest, in which hands-on classes such as quilting, dry stone stacking and storytelling have been scheduled to tie in culture and natural resources.
The slogan “Move to the Head of the Creative Class” is about helping people realize their artistic side, improving quality of life and using craftsmanship to benefit the economy through entrepreneurship, a growing benefit to the economy.
The school also is training artisans in teaching methods, Shackelford noted.
The school offers a variety of class schedules at an affordable cost.
Go to the Web site to find out how to earn a scholarship.
Registration, additional classes and details are available online at www.chestnutcreekarts.org.
For more information, call (276) 236-3500.
10 a.m.- noon — Dry stacking stone
10 a.m.-noon — Quilting
Noon-1 p.m. — Lunch catered by Davis Bourne Inn
1-3 p.m., Storytelling
3:30-5:30 — Nature walk in the Matthews State Forest, lecture on the chestnut tree, quail and pine tree
Find Your Spiritual in Art:
Oil Painting Weekend with Halide Salem
Oct. 25-26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., tuition $175
Also Halide Salem, professor of art at Radford University, will speak on the spirituality of art at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25.
Nature Weekend: Oct. 18-19
Oct. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.:
Nature Day Camp for children 6+. Explore nature by creating crafts using found natural objects. Tuition: $35, includes lunch, materials.
Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.:
Nature Photography workshop focused on the flora and fauna on the New River Trail. Focuses on composition and capturing subject matter. Any camera will do. No experience necessary.
Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.:
Nature Painting for adults and older children. Introduced to painting nature with acrylics. No experience necessary.
Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.:
Nature Projects for younger children.
Tuition: $40, includes lunch. Bring camera and materials for photography and painting workshop. Materials can be supplied for $10.
Three part introduction to jewelry
(Tuition: $25 per class.)
Disc ‘n’ Dangles Treasure Necklace,
Sept. 14, 2-5 p.m.: Students design a necklace using their own special assortment of charms, beads and other treasures. Materials can be purchased from instructor.
Oct. 19, 2-5 p.m.: Using carefully selected beads students will build bracelets that tells the story of where they’ve been, where they are, how they got there and where they long to go. Students will frame that story into a simple poem.
Nov. 9, 2-5 p.m.: Using leftover beads and charms to create a fun chin bracelet.
Filet Crochet with Leslie Shelor
Tuesdays, Sept. 9-Oct. 28, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Learn to read any crochet pattern and make a filet crochet doily based on a traditional pattern. Need knowledge of all stitches. $20.
Beginning Guitar with Josh Pickett
Mondays, Sept. 22-Nov. 3
6-11 years old, 3 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
12+ years old, 4 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
The Art of Leather Shadow Puppetry with Iara Kendrick
Wednesdays, Sept. 17- Nov. 5, 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. 7 years old and up. $120
Intermediate Appalachian Fiddle with Betty Vornbeck
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 9-Oct. 2, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Adults. $200
Appalachian Paper Arts
Nov. 15. All ages
Other classes are being planned for Spring 2009