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Arts Council hosts first spring pop-up event

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

On Saturday, April 30, the Johnson County Arts Council hosted its first-ever Spring Arts & Crafts Pop-Up Tour. This family-friendly mini-festival served to introduce local art and artisans to the public while raising money for similar events in the future. Groups set up at six locations throughout Mountain City: Mink Crafts, the Johnson County Center for the Arts, Final Touch Frame Shop, Silverstone Hams, CrystaLac, and Nature Speaks Pottery Studio.
Johnson County has a rich history in various arts. From past musical legends like G.B. Grayson and Clarence Tom Ashley to modern day trendsetters like the Kody Norris Band and International Guild of Realism (IGOR) Artist Cristy Dunn, Johnson County has made a mark on the art scene. Groups such as the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) show the rise of new talent growing in the community and potential new legends.
Despite the impact, there are many local talents that remain unknown to the citizens. Johnson County Arts Council President Lewis Chapman explained that one of his goals for this event was to expose the public to artisans or artistic works they did not know existed in their community. This was possible through various planned and impromptu art demonstrations and live music at each stop. Demonstrations included but were not limited to charcoal drawing, woodworking, painting, photography, and crocheting.
“I have had a fun afternoon meeting event goers at the Final Touch Frame Shop location on Main Street,” Chapman told The Tomahawk. “We hope the Spring Arts & Crafts Pop-Up Tour has introduced attendees to an artist or craft they didn’t know was right here in this county.”
This event had multifaceted benefits. For one, it drew locals to several businesses that were newer to the community or had moved locations in recent years. It also provided an artistic outlet for people of all ages through interactive displays, such as the canvas at Final Touch and Crafting Corner at the Center for the Arts.
It even provided fundraising opportunities for Johnson County High School students. Both the robotics teams and cheerleading squad were selling baked goods to help their causes. Cheerleaders led cheers on the sidewalk to help bring in crowds, and robotics students offered the public a chance to take one of their handmade shopping-cart style robots for a test drive.
“The Johnson County Arts Council is truly thankful for all of the support the community has shown to local arts and artists,” Chapman thanked everyone that came out. “Their kind donations will help the Arts Council continue our community arts programs, scholarships, and special events.”
The Johnson County Arts Council is a nonprofit organization working to support the arts community in Johnson County.
For more information on this organization and to keep up to date on upcoming events, visit its Facebook page @johnsoncountyartscouncil.