Create Appalachia’s First Annual Leaf & Root & Berry Appalachian Highlands Botanical Exhibition
December 11 – January 31
Work from invited artists from across Southwest VA and East TN
Looking for something COVID-safe and “art-full” to do on a beautiful afternoon? Visit our first annual Leaf & Root & Berry Appalachian Highlands Botanical Art Exhibition! It’s on display in the shop windows of charming downtown Erwin, Tennessee Enjoy a drive to the actual exhibit in Erwin where there’s plenty to do! Not in the mood for travel? This stunning work is viewable online, and all of it is for sale. Click here to see the artwork Featuring the work of artists from across our region, Leaf & Root & Berry includes everything from fiber work to paintings to photographs. Originally, this exhibit was to be offered in conjunction with the Town of Erwin’s Sassafras Moon Herbal Festival. As the name suggests, we invited works that fit into our plant-focused theme. When the Festival was COVID-cancelled, we decided to mount the exhibit anywayas a celebration of our Appalachian botanical diversity and beauty, and as a celebration of the artists. They’ve interpreted our botanical heritage and abundance in gorgeously original ways!
Some of the works you’ll see in Leaf & Root & Berry were submitted as part of a regional art competition. Three talented jurors worked with us to select the winners: Michelle Bouton (Herbalist, Acupuncturist, and Founder of the Sassafras Moon Festival), Nell Jefferson Fredericksen (Virginia Master Artisan, metalsmith, potter, and stained glass artist), and Becky Mallory (Art Teacher & Fiber Artist).
- Best in Show: Nina Rizzo, “Crossing”
- Judge’s Choice: Mary Ruden, “TN Native Plants”; Spicey Pate, “Sequential Autumn”; and Kristy Ottinger, “Moon Over the Mountain”
- Honorable Mention: Nina Rizzo, “Flights of Fancy”; Mary Ruden, “Lily Scarf”; and Spicy Pate, “Tread Softly”
Along with the pieces entered in our competition, there are also invited works from across Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.
We’ll soon be adding some botanically-themed online events to our Leaf & Root & Berry offerings. Look for a bodypainting demonstration from internationally known Ren Allen , an old-time music mini-concert from the very talented Tyler Hughes, a poetry reading and Q&A from award-winning poet Rita Sims Quillen, an interview with our Best of Show winner Nina Rizzo, and take an “oracle walk” with Amanda “River Fern” Bryant. We’re still adding events, so be sure to follow us on social media and check our events page for the latest.
And don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year’s Sassafras Moon Herbal Festival, to be held in Erwin on September 18th in 2021. We’ll have our second annual Leaf & Root & Berry exhibit in conjunction with the festival next year. Can’t wait to see you there!
Thank you to Jamie Rice and The Town of Erwin, TN, The Sassafras Moon Festival, The HERBalachia school of Herbalism, and Jocelyn Mathewes, Fine Artist of Johnson City, TN for your help in planning this We’re also grateful for the assistance of both Sarah Romeo of The Appalachian Arts Center in Cedar Bluff, VA Jen Otey of The Rose Cottage School of Art in Wytheville, VA for helping us with this effort.