Wildacres Retreat Wildacres Lodge

Try it on at wildacres*
May 1 - 5

Try It On is back for a fourth year and the lively, lovely three-day artist workshop is a great time to be on the mountain. We have gathered some of our favorite teachers and friends of Wildacres to provide excellent instruction: printmaking, pottery, acrylic painting, creative watermedia, writing short fiction, photography, songwriting, and storytelling. (More details on the classes below.)

Registration and orientation will be on Monday, May 1 with classes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There will be special programs and entertainment in the evenings, and the session ends after breakfast on Friday, May 5. The cost of four nights lodging, meals, and classes is $350. Really!

Send your check (payment in full) to:
Wildacres (Attn: Try It On), PO Box 280, Little Switzerland, NC 28749
along with a completed copy of the Registration Form.

Each participant will register for one of the following classes and will remain in that program for the duration of the workshop.

Wheel Thrown Pottery -- Gary Lee

This class would consist of learning to center clay, open and pull up a vertical cylinder. We would make soup bowls of different sizes and maybe have time to make a mug or two. This class would be for beginners but anyone with clay throwing experience is welcome. We would take your experience level and tailor the class to that level. Lots of time for sharing clay experiences and getting your hands muddy.

As we would not be able to finish what is made in the short time frame allotted, there will be several options available for picking up your finished work. You could pick up later at Wildacres if you live close enough or are returning for another session or your finished pots can be shipped to you.

Class size will be limited to 5 participants. $25 for materials fee will cover clay, tools, firings and glazing. I will provide tools for your use during the class.

Gary Lee owns Rising Sun Pottery in Lincolnton, NC, often Teaches at Wildacres and helps us with all of our pottery shop needs.

Acrylic Painting -- Carol Burgess

Picture yourself in the mountains with time to just paint. This class will take you through an understanding of how Acrylic paints work. Many people think painting is too hard or you can't fix a mistake. Both of these ideas are a myth. There are many ways to use a paint brush to get good results. The class will take you from how to start and how to finish with details that give the work your personal expression. If you want to try some new techniques on work you already have in mind, no problem. This is a no stress painting class.

Materials fee: $10

Carol Weisberg Burgess has been teaching drawing and painting for over thirty years. She has a degree in from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. Carol has also spent many years painting movement through the rehearsals and classes of dancers of the American Dance Festival and Carolina Ballet. She opened Artworks/The Studio in 1995 to teach and continue to explore her work.

Creative Watermedia Techniques -- Billie Shelburn

Join me for an adventure in painting, you will be learning and using creative techniques in Watercolor and mixed media including some acrylics and inks. Some collage techniques will be explored also. Basic composition is the secret to achieving success in your paintings, drawings or mixed media endeavors. Special emphasis will be placed on basic composition using the elements and principles of design. No matter what your style of painting is this class will make composition easy to understand, and you will be able to approach your work with confidence. There will be daily demos and hands-on-learning exercises.

All materials will be provided for a finished painting a day by the instructor for the fee of $35 per student. Extra materials can also be purchased at cost. Billie Shelburn is an instructor and resident artist at John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.

Photographing the Drama of the Wildacres Region -- Kelly Culpepper

Explore, Experience and Capture the sublime beauty of the most spectacular section of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the immediate environs surrounding Wildacres. Our week will be fun and inspiring, yet relaxed and flexible. Each participant will create a collection of memorable images. Beginning to advanced amateurs are welcome. We will focus on the "how-tos" of creating compelling mountain photographs. Bring your camera, take a hike, photograph a sunrise or sunset, learn to see and experience the world like an artist/photographer. For beginners, an introduction to basic camera techniques will set you up and get you going. More advanced participants can revisit and improve on these techniques while capitalizing on visits to select locations. A critique and slide show presentation round out the week. Our goal: become technically competent and creative photographers AND immerse ourselves in the land and culture of the Blue Ridge.

The workshop will focus on: 1) Making technically competent photos that are properly focused, sharp and correctly exposed 2) Developing visual/artistic skills that result in well composed and aesthetically pleasing images. 3) Using photography as a medium of exploration that heightens your visual experience of places, (we will visit a variety of locations at different times-of-day, that are quintessential mountain places in the vicinity of Wildacres).

Questions? Contact the instructor at kelly@culpepperphoto.com

Kelly Culpepper has taught nearly 30 photography classes and workshops at Wildacres over the past thirteen years. He has a vast knowledge of the region's most photographable locations.

Materials fee is $25.

Writing Short Fiction & Poetry: Short Stories are Getting Shorter -- Ruth Moose

In class you'll write to some prompts and examples of short fiction and maybe work in a poem or two for inspiration or inclination. In short, we'll write!!! And read some good stuff.

Ruth Moose was on the creative faculty at UNC-CH for 15 years. She has published three books of short stories and six collections of poetry. Her first novel, "Doing it at the Dixie Dew", won the $10,000 Malice Domestic prize and was published by St. Martin's Press; the sequel "Wedding Bell Blues" was published in August 2016.

Songwriting and Guitar -- Freddy Bradburn

This is a workshop that will concentrate on songwriting in the morning and guitar playing and styles in the afternoon. Every skill level is welcome from beginner to seasoned songwriter. The songwriting sessions will focus on coming up with ideas, how to write a song every day, and various techniques. The guitar sessions will focus on various tunings, finger style guitar, how to use the guitar in your songwriting and anything else that students request. There will be jam sessions and performances during the evening.

Freddy Bradburn is an award winning songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is about to release is 5th CD of original songs, and he is currently learning Irish fiddle. He lives in Marion, N.C where he teaches songwriting, finger-style guitar, and mandolin and gigs with his trio, Skiffle Creek.

Storytelling -- Sherry Lovett

Ever wanted to be a storyteller? The truth is, you already are; you just need to fine-tune the skill. The art of storytelling can help you be more successful at just about everything, so join me for The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Storytellers, an exploration of the art of storytelling including selecting, crafting, and performing a story. We will share, experience, play, and have fun and, at the end, you will have one more story to tell. Once upon a time at Wildacres…

Sherry Lovett has been a professional storyteller for sixteen years, performing at schools, libraries, private functions, and festivals. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, entertain, and connect with people through the art of storytelling.

Printmaking with Nature's Bounty -- Lori Loftus

Experience the joy of using an etching press to capture the detailed images of ferns, leaves, flowers, feathers and other natural objects.  Explore the various techniques of printmaking including; painting on printing plates with a brush to create one-of-a-kind monotype prints, applying ink to a plate using a brayer and adding elements for additional pressings.  Prints can be used in a variety of ways; framed, postcards, greeting cards, journals, collage and more.  No previous printmaking experience is necessary and no drawing skills are required.  All materials will be provided but students may wish to bring additional flattened dried plants or favorite papers. Come join us for a FUN and informative workshop.

Materials fee is $25.

Lori Loftus is a nature printer, multi-media artist and has taught at various workshops across the United States.  She is a member and secretary of the Nature Printing Society and has a working studio in Hendersonville, NC.  To see her work visit www.NatureArtistry.com.  Questions? Contact her at lori.ann.loftus@gmail.com

Nature in the Blue Ridge -- Tal Galton

This is an immersive week in the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We will visit a wide range of mountain ecosystems--from the one-of-a-kind So. Appalachian Spruce-Fir to rare Appalachian bogs. The explorations will be focused on plants and plant communities, but we're sure to see a generous helping of fungi, insects, birds, herps, and mammals. We'll visit some waterfalls and vistas, but will aim for the richest sites of biodiversity; many are classified by the NC Natural Heritage Program as areas of regional or national significance. Did you know that there are two dozen species of native orchids that live in our corner of WNC? We will see several in bloom.

We'll steer clear of the most strenuous local trails, but you can't avoid hilly terrain here in the mountains. Please be prepared to tromp a mile or two through the woods to get to some of these special spots. Share your naturalist passions with the group or simply soak up insights and knowledge from the cohort and guide. Bring comfortable outdoor clothing suitable for variable spring weather in the mountains (fleece/sweater and raingear!), comfortable hiking boots or walking shoes, binoculars or loupes or your favorite field guides.  

Tal Galton has been introducing people of all ages to wild places for over 20 years and is the naturalist behind Snakeroot Ecotours. Previously he was a trip leader, teacher, farm manager, and administrator at Arthur Morgan School, and now works for Snakeroot and The Arete Project in Celo, NC. For more information, contact Tal at: info@snakerootecotours.com.

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