Inspiring Painting Classes with Charlie Frye

painting classes Charlie Frye

If you’re plugged into the art community in the Blue Ridge Mountains,  you have surely had the good fortune to run into a bearded man, wearing paint-streaked overalls, walking the streets of Lenoir.  The mountain towns in North Carolina are fortunate to share a rich history of art and culture that celebrate the region, (just take a look at the painted quilt blocks along our roadsides), and artists like Charlie Frye, co-owner of Folk Keeper Gallery & Antiques in historic downtown Lenoir, make certain that this cherished tradition is continued in our NC mountain communities.

Many  enjoy driving from town to town and taking in the painted quilt blocks that adorn local homes and barns.  Frye is self-taught, and perhaps it’s this passion and drive that give his folk art such heart and soul.  Step into his studio and you’ll find color and whimsy all around you. 

Frye and his wife, Susan Frye, are a creative and productive team, so much so that they were named “Master Folk Keepers” by Carl White of Life in the Carolinas.  Not only is their own art displayed, but they also sell work by other Southern folk artists.  Frye paints on many different materials–rusted metal, wood, whatever suits his fancy.  Frye has an innate sense for color and expression, and when he teaches, he also knows how to convey all he knows to his students so they, too, can bring forth their artistic expression.

Frye is more than a talented artist, he has a strong gift for teaching people of all ages how to create artwork of their own, exploring many different mediums, including paint.  His work is representative of the charming life so many in the NC mountain communities lead—a simpler day to day existence and a slower Blue Ridge pace.  Look at his creations and you will see the animals and folks who make the mountain towns in North Carolina all that they are.  It’s clear that the Fryes adore their community and their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

He has shown his colorful artwork all over the mountain towns in North Carolina–at the Caldwall Arts Council, Wilkes Gallery, Morning Song Gallery, Burke Arts Council, Jo Sila Gallery, Root in Vine, Morganton City Hall, Caldwell Community College to name just a few. Frye was commissioned to create two painted quilt blocks at Round Mountain Ranch to contribute to a celebrated tradition begun in the region in 2001. Using colors and patterns to beautifully blend images of majestic mountains with free-flowing river waters, the design evokes all the natural wonder and charm of The Coves. The quilt blocks are named ‘Windows to Heaven’. Come take a look!

Folk Keeper Gallery is creatively hopping year round with Open Houses during the holiday season, artful collaborations with other galleries, and a varied summer art programs for kids from elementary through middle and high school, as well as adults.

Upcoming events at Frye Art Studio for those with children and grandchildren in the NC mountain communities:

  • Intro to Art Summer Camp (5-8 yrs); Tuesday, June 12, 9-11 am; drawing, painting and small sculpture; $85 includes instructions, materials and snack.
  • Collage & Mosaics Summer Camp (6-10 yrs); Tuesday, June 12, 1-3 pm; assemblage using various mediums including pictures, beads, tiles and more; $100 includes instructions, materials and snack.
  • Intro to Art Camp (5-8 yrs); Wednesday, June 13, 9-11am; drawing, painting and small sculpture; $85 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Collage & Mosaics Summer Camp (6-10 yrs); Wednesday, June 13, 1-3 pm; assemblage using various mediums including pictures, beads, tiles and more; $100 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Intro to Art Summer Camp (5-8 yrs); Thursday, June 14, 9-11am; drawing, painting and small sculpture; $85 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Collage & Mosaics Summer Camp (6-10 yrs); Thursday, June 14, 1-3 pm; assemblage using various mediums including pictures, beads, tiles and more; $100 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Funky Chicken Summer Camp (6-10 yrs); Tuesday, June 19, 9-11 am; fun drawings and paintings of various animals; $85 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Mixed Media Montage Summer Camp (8-12 yrs); Tuesday, June 19, 1-3 pm; used of various mediums to create sculpture as well as 2D pieces; $90 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Funky Chicken Summer Camp (6-10 yrs); Wednesday, June 20, 9-11 am; fun drawings and paintings of various animals; $85 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Mixed Media Montage Summer Camp (8-12 yrs); Wednesday, June 20, 1-3 pm; used of various mediums to create sculpture as well as 2D pieces; $90 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Funky Chicken Summer Camp (6-10 yrs); Thursday, June 21, 9-11 am; fun drawings and paintings of various animals; $85 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Mixed Media Montage Summer Camp (8-12 yrs); Thursday, June 21, 1-3 pm; used of various mediums to create sculpture as well as 2D pieces; $90 includes instructions, materials, and snack.
  • Over the Moon for Owls Summer Camp (8-12 yrs); Tuesday, June 26, 9-11 am; drawing and painting for all kinds of owls; $85 includes instructions, materials and snack.
  • Sculpty Sculpt-Off Summer Camp (11-18 yrs); Tuesday, June 26, 1-4 pm; creating small sculptures using sculpy and paint; judged art show following final class (more details to come); $125 includes instructions, materials and snacks.
  • Over the Moon for Owls Summer Camp (8-12 yrs); Wednesday, June 27, 9-11 am; drawing and painting for all kinds of owls; $85 includes instructions, materials and snack.
  • Sculpty Sculpt-Off Summer Camp (11-18 yrs); Wednesday, June 27, 1-4 pm; creating small sculptures using sculpy and paint; judged art show following final class (more details to come); $125 includes instructions, materials and snacks.
  • Over the Moon for Owls Summer Camp (8-12 yrs); Thursday, June 28, 9-11 am; drawing and painting for all kinds of owls; $85 includes instructions, materials and snack.
  • Sculpty Sculpt-Off Summer Camp (11-18 yrs); Thursday, June 28, 1-4 pm; creating small sculptures using sculpy and paint; judged art show following final class (more details to come); $125 includes instructions, materials and snacks.

To register for camps, call or message (828) 320-7819 or send a FB message to Folk Keeper Gallery located at 901 West Avenue, Lenoir, NC.

And remember…you’re never too old to pick up a paint brush!  As those at The Coves in the mountain towns of North Carolina discovered when they participated in Frye’s Wine & Design Class a couple of years ago, sipping and painting while Frye explained step by step how to apply color to their 12 x 12 wood board.  Amazing paintings were created in the fresh air of the Pisgah Mountain Lodge veranda at The Coves. 

Artist in residence programs are just one of the perks of living in such a vibrant and connected community in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Take a ride through the quaint towns on your way to visit The Coves, and keep an eye out for the Quilt Trails in NC; there are nine trail routes to explore along the way. You’ll find two of Frye’s quilt blocks hanging on the Round Mountain Ranch barn, reflecting the natural beauty that surrounds the folks who live in The Coves. And be sure to stop in the Frye’s Folk Keeper Gallery to pick up a little folk art to adorn your new home at The Coves. 

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Artist In Residence | Lenoir

Take the NC 100 Mile Hiking Challenge in 2018

hiking trails near Asheville NC

Every year, North Carolina State Parks challenges every state resident to complete 100 miles of physical activity.  It’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty and resources North Carolina is known for.  And of course you reap many health benefits as well, such as stress reduction, improved muscle mass, weight loss, better sleep and even disease prevention.

There are 42 trails close to The Coves Mountain River Club that offer not only the exercise you need but amazing views of the waterfalls of Western North Carolina and some of the area’s other most spectacular features.

So why not use this opportunity to become familiar with some of the popular hiking trails near Asheville NC?  Even if it’s just one or two miles to begin with, what’s important is that you’re getting started and participating.

Go to nc100miles.org to sign up for the 2018 “100-Mile Challenge” and start logging your progress.

Here are some rules to keep in mind.  Be sure your footwear is sturdy, comfortable and well broken-in before you hit the trail.  Choose the right activity for your fitness level.  Bring a map.  Know the weather forecast and dress accordingly.  Take sunscreen, bug repellent, a hat, sunglasses, snacks and water.  For safety, hike or bike with a friend or family member.  Otherwise, let someone know where you’re going and when you should be back.  Finally, respect your surroundings, others in the park and the wildlife.

While you’re in Lenoir looking for North Carolina land for sale, plan a side trip to one of our three beautiful state parks:  Grandfather Mountain, Lake James and South Mountains.  You can find wonderful trails that accommodate any level of physical strength and stamina.

Grandfather Mountain State Park offers Nuwati Trail, which is peaceful and soothing, mildly challenging and good for all ages.  You’ll get a spectacular view of the Boone Bowl and Calloway Peak from Storyteller’s Rock.  Profile Trail is a longer and more strenuous walk, and Grandfather Trail is recommended only for very advanced hikers.

The Overmountain Victory Trail at Lake James State Park follows the route taken by American patriots who shadowed a force of marauding British loyalists across three states until they finally engaged in battle at King’s Mountain.  It’s an easy hike, mostly shaded under mature forest canopy.  Beginner and intermediate level bikers will like the Upper Tindo and West Winda Loops.

At South Mountains State Park, hikers often combine Possum Trail with Chestnut Knob Trail for a 7.7 mile loop that reaches the highest point of the park and includes a view of one of the loveliest waterfalls of western North Carolina, High Shoals Falls.  Also check out the Benn Knob, Horseridge, and Fox Trails.

The many hiking trails near Asheville NC make it easy to walk and stay in shape because there’s so much to explore that you never run out of surprises.  People who seek North Carolina land for sale know they’re buying a lifestyle that’s wonderfully different from the one they’ve been accustomed to. 

With so many ways to become and remain active – and the year-round mild weather – our residents at The Coves Mountain River Club find that the Lenoir area’s many attractions can keep them as busy as they want to be.

We look forward to your visit.  Find us on the Johns River near Wilson Creek with plenty of access to swimming, fishing, tubing and other water-related activities. Explore our four waterfalls, two community gardens and 16 miles of award winning hiking trails within our community.

There is no better way to immerse yourself in the splendor of the surroundings here in the foothills of North Carolina than to choose a trail, set off on an invigorating hike and begin your “100-Mile Challenge”.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Where to Find a Great Cup of Coffee Near The Coves

Lenoir NC restaurants

Our American love affair with specialty coffees started back in the 1960s.  Baby boomers discovered that the local cafés and coffee shops were the perfect place to gather, chat, perform live music and poetry, and create a counterculture.  In Berkeley, California, Peet’s Coffee and Tea introduced artisan roasting styles that began setting trends, and in 1971 two business partners in Seattle first sold specialty roasted beans under the name “Starbucks”.

Of the roughly 100 million daily coffee drinkers in the United States, about a third would rather sip espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes than a simple cup of Java.  And another third like their coffee black.

The coffee culture has something for everyone and attracts new converts every day.  And residents of NC mountain communities are no exception.  If you think moving to The Coves Mountain River Club means giving up the coffee shop environment you’ve come to love, think again.

At one time, we might have called Highland Coffee House Lenoir’s “best kept secret”.  But it wasn’t secret for long.  Word quickly got around about this downtown gem, with its 39 flavors of coffee beans and 20 specialty teas.  And when the owners added fresh-baked breads and pastries, they earned even more praise. 

Soon, visitors looking for NC mountain cabins for sale will be delighted to discover that what they believed was only a fixture of urban life had become one of the most popular things to do in Lenoir NC.

Family-owned Highland Coffee House occupies a beautiful building right on Main Street, nestled in small town surroundings.  Inside, it’s warm and friendly.  A comfortable lounge beckons you to relax in front of the fireplace.  Read, chat or use the free wi-fi.  And there’s meeting space available.  The works of local artist Charlie Frye adorn the walls, and his studio is right upstairs. 

The air’s rich with the sweet aroma of cookies, cakes and fresh bread that regular patrons travel miles to savor.  The atmosphere’s very laid back, and the owner’s happy to answer your questions and discuss the finer points of their remarkable selection of beans.

In addition to the four coffee flavors featured daily, they serve smoothies and gourmet hot chocolate.  The brew at Highland Coffee House has been called the best you can find between Boone and Hickory.  They bake one of the moistest cakes in the mountains.  And their prices are very easy on the wallet.  Why spend more and get less somewhere else?

As one customer put it, her first visit to Highland Coffee House was like “finding a pearl in the sand”.

Of course, that could apply to much of what makes the foothills area so special.  No matter what your mental image of NC mountain communities might be, pleasant surprises await you around every corner.  Many who chose to build a mountain home at The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir were astonished to learn how much there is to do in the area.  And it just keeps getting better.

Our location on five miles of Johns River frontage near Wilson Creek provides easy access to popular fishing sites, boating, swimming and more.  Pisgah Mountain Lodge is the perfect finish to an exciting day. Our great gathering place for neighbors where residents enjoy special activities such as cooking demonstrations by local chefs, themed events and games. 

Living here, you really do get the best of both worlds.  The air is fresh, the skies are clear, there’s mild weather all year long, and the stress level is zero.  But we’re still close enough to mountain towns and metropolitan cities that you can easily get there if you need to.

If you’re in the area looking at NC mountain cabins for sale, be sure to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club for a tour and see what our design team has been able to create for others like yourself.

And be sure to treat yourself to a visit to Highland Coffee House, one of our favorite hometown things to do in Lenoir NC.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Lenoir | Restaurants & Breweries

A Weekend of Everything Blackberry in Western North Carolina

NC Blackberry Festival

The mountain towns in North Carolina are well on their way to celebrating the spring and making the most of this glorious region—from outdoor recreation, to mountain festivals—the hills are full of life. As we take part in all these glorious Lenoir NC events, it’s impossible not to look forward to what the summer months will bring, and of course who doesn’t have the North Carolina Blackberry Festival on their summer dream list?  This foodie festival in North Carolina is the perfect follow-up to our Fourth of July celebrations, and another sweet occasion to come together with friends, family and the tight-knit community.  For nearly two decades folks have gathered together for the Blackberry Festival, and this year promises to deliver three jam-packed days loaded with wholesome fun.

Here’s the full schedule of the blackberry events:

THURSDAY, JULY 12TH, 2018 – “AN EVENING OF EVERYTHING BLACKBERRY”

• 6-9 pm–A ticketed event kicking off the NC Blackberry Festival weekend on Lenoir’s Main St., featuring blackberry infused cuisine, drinks, music and dancing, and the swinging styles of The Starlighters.  Swing dancing class for those who want to really move!   Sample and vote on local restaurants blackberry appetizers, entrees and desserts, while you sip the finest from local breweries and distilleries from the mountain towns in North Carolina.  Tickets $35–Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, www.caldwellchambernc.com or (828) 726-0616.

FRIDAY, JULY 13TH, 2018 – “THE BLACKBERRY JAM”

• 5-10pm–Experience the tastes of our regional and local breweries on the Square in Historic Downtown Lenoir, during the Friday Night Blackberry Jam, featuring the Black “Beery” y Garden, and live music by contestants of The Blackberry Jam Competition and emceed by the Sycamore Bones band.

6 pm—Blackberry Belle Pageant Preliminaries

7 pm–Live Music—Blackberry Jam Singer Songwriter Contest

7 pm—Blackberry Recipe Contests

9 pm—Glow Run 5K & Fun

Tickets and wristbands will be made available downtown during this event.

SATURDAY, JULY 14TH– VENDORS, FOOD, MUSIC, CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES AND BLACKBERRIES FOR SALE ALL DAY 10 am -4pm

9 am-5pm—Black “Beer” y Garden, featuring local breweries and craft beers

10 am—live music all day

10 am—Blackberry Belle Pageant Finals

10:30 am–Blackberry Festival Blood Drive

11:15 am—Blackberry Eating Contests (Youth and Adult)

12 pm—Presentation of Colors Ceremony

12:15 pm—Colossal Cobbler Parade

12:30 pm—World’s Largest Patchwork of Cobbler

3:30 pm—Blackberry Jam Winners

This year’s Singer-Songwriter competition is one of the finest Lenoir NC events will have a great panel of judges and awards will be given: first place winner–$300 Grand Prize and a 30-minute performance on Saturday; second place winner–$150; third place–$75. The on-site live competition takes place at the Main Street Stage in Downtown Lenoir during the Blackberry Jam on Friday, July 13th. Each song in the finals must be performed live by the composer (and/or co-writer), with no more than one accompanist. When there are two or more songwriters, the limit on stage is three individuals. No pre-recorded tracks will be allowed. Songs which result in a tie will be decided based upon the highest score given to a song by an individual judge.

T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST—any questions contact Candice Simmons– 828-726-0616

Also be sure to bring your little ones to the Chick-fil-a “Blackberry Patch” Kids Area with Waterlife Church– a designated kids area featuring a variety of inflatables, arts & crafts activities, a puppet making area for the Colossal Cobbler Parade Brigade, and children-friendly music and more.

Shopping at the festival is one of the biggest draws with something incredible for everyone!

2018 VENDORS

FOOD & BEVERAGES; Four Corners Grill; G&T;  Hot Diggity Dog; Java Sweets LLC; Kara’s Grill; Nectar of The Vine; Sherri’s Crab Cakes; SnoBar Southeast; Sweet Mornings Farm; That’s a Wrap; Turkish Grill; World Cuisine

RETAIL & CRAFTS–Alco Creations; Bamboo Pillows and Sheets; Carolina Legacy; Crafts by Janice; Creative Arts by Cathy; D & M Creative Designs; Greg’s Antiques and Garden Iron; Heather Leigh Designs; Jess Ann Smith; Lilla Rose Hair Accessories; Log Cabin Naturals; My Pillow; Ocean Palms Jewelry; Paparazzi/Precious Jewels; Rhineland Cutlery; Southern Soap Shop; The Mail Room; Salt Soothers; June’s Doggie Boutique; Lularoe; Splentique Fashion Boutique

ATTRACTIONS–Good Times Inflatables; Vacation Village Resorts

HOME & GARDEN–All American Gutter Protection; B&B Outdoors; Carolina Home Remodeling; Greg’s Antiques and Garden Iron; Henry Frye Mantles; KR Communications; Paradise Home Improvement; Security Force INC; SkyLine/ SkyBest; Tarheel Basement Systems; The Hickory Nut

AUTHORS–Jordan Greene

ORGANIZATIONS–Gideons International; Keychains for Cancer Research

Volunteer at this festival in North Carolina and feel the amazing sense of community —“We need everything from a Stage Emcee to a Beer Pourer; from a Cobbler Collector to Recipe Judge. Or maybe you’ve got big muscles…we need help moving and lifting too! Whatever your special skill, we need your help! There are many ways to get involved at the NC Blackberry Festival, so please consider volunteering at one of our multiple stations over the four days of the festival.” Please contact the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce at 828.726.1616.

Our residents at The Coves Mountain River Club are sure to attend this amazing festival in North Carolina, one of the many perks of calling this majestic spot “home.”  Lenoir NC events are diverse and happen year-round, adding joy and adventure to The Coves’ community. 

This is an excellent time to take a gorgeous summer ride through the mountain towns in North Carolina, join the Blackberry Festival celebration, and discover first-hand the inspiring views and warm hospitality that await you at The Coves. While you’re here, check out our new tiny houses collection, floor plans starting in the mid $50s.

Whether as a second home or for downsizing a permanent residence, we are now offering, on a limited base, affordable tiny homes. These residences offer slightly more square footage than your typical tiny house plus all the benefits of living in an award winning mountain community. Come and select your homesite, floor plan and interior selections and we will make every effort to have you in your new home in 4-6 months.

Request the tiny houses information package by calling us at 828.754.0700!

Tags: Festivals | Lenoir