Chris Aluka Exhibition

An exhibition by Atlanta-based photographer, Chris Aluka Berry (with commentary by Marie T. Cochran) will be displayed in the Rotunda Gallery of the Jackson County library February through March.

Marie T. Cochran, is a former WCU faculty member and founder of the Affrilachian Artist Project.

Cochran and Berry are collaborators on a regional documentary initiative on African Americans in the Appalachian region and recipients of a grant from the “We Shall Overcome Fund” under the auspices of the Highlander Center for Research and Education.

A related community event takes place on Saturday, February 25, 2017, 2 – 4pm at the Jackson County Public Library Community Room.

“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” celebrates Black History Month in Jackson County (NC) and serves as a tribute to the life and legacy of Victoria Casey McDonald.

The event will include musical guests, a Story Circle of shared memories featured friends, family and former students, moderated by Marie T. Cochran.

For additional information, please contact Victoria’s daughter, Faustine McDonald Wilson, owner of Survival Pride clothing at or Marie T. Cochran at

Share Your Artwork with Visitors to North Carolina

Share your artwork work with visitors to North Carolina


The western North Carolina “Artists Count” project will be hosting a series of exhibitions to highlight the rich visual contributions made by area artists. Craftsmen, artists, galleries, and studios are encouraged to submit their work.


The first of these exhibits will be on display during winter and spring 2017 at the Interstate 26 Welcome Center north of Asheville. More than a quarter million visitors come through this facility each year.  This first exhibition will highlight the work of artists in Jackson and Swain Counties.


Each artist, craftsmen, studio, or gallery may exhibit one work that will be displayed along with information and photographs about you or your site. All work will be displayed in locked cases.  Artists and venues are encouraged to submit brochures and business cards that Welcome Center staff will distribute to interested visitors. There is NO fee to participate.


The inaugural exhibit will open in January 2017 and remain on view until July. This first “Artists Count” exhibition is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council through the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.  For an application, contact:


Deadline for submitting materials is December 1st. Participation is limited to professional visual artists over 18 years old. Students are not eligible. All artists in Jackson and Swain counties are welcome to apply.

Jackson County Arts Council Receives Grant Funding From the North Carolina Arts Council and Jackson County Commissioners

The Jackson County Arts Council is pleased to announce that it has received four grants from the North Carolina Arts Council to fund various programs for the Jackson County community and schools this fiscal year.

The arts council received two Arts in Education grants.  A cARTwheels grant for $7,000 which is sponsoring a production of “Jackie Robinson: A Game Apart” for the Jackson County Schools on October 26th.  The other Arts in Education grant for $7,500 will sponsor the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program.  This is an after school program held at Cullowhee Valley School and is open to students in the Jackson County School system.  

The arts council also received two Arts in Communities grants.  The Grassroots Arts Program which provided $15,564 to help sponsor other local organizations in the community who provide arts programs and events in Jackson County.  The organizations that received sponsorship this year through the grant are:  Western Carolina Community Chorus, Western Carolina Civic Orchestra, CuRve, Blue Ridge Early College, Jackson County Visual Arts Association, Cullowhee Mountain Arts, Sylva Baptist Church after school art programs, Jackson County Farmer’s Market Art in the Park, Junior Appalachian Musicians, WNC Pottery Festival, Mountain Heritage Day artists, Jackson County Senior Center art programs, ColorFest in Dillsboro, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia and WCU Art Education Club.

The Regional Artist Project grant for $2,500 was also received to award individual artists for artistic projects.  This grant is available for individual artists from Macon, Graham, Haywood, Clay, Cherokee and Jackson Counties who apply for the award.  This grant is matched by contributions from each county who is part of the consortium.

The Jackson County Commissioners also provided $10,000 in grant funding to the arts council to sponsor arts programming and workshops for the Jackson County community.  All arts events and programs by the arts council are offered free of charge to the community.  The arts council will be presenting Artists Talks on the second Monday of each month in the Community Room of the Jackson County Library Complex as well as concerts and art/theater workshops throughout the year.

The Jackson County Arts Council thanks the North Carolina Arts Council and the Jackson County Commissioners for their support and for keeping art alive in Jackson County.

To learn more about the Jackson County Arts Council, visit their website at, email: or call: 828-507-9820.