What Matters

• Sunday, May 22, 2016 •

May 22, 2016

Founding and operating a non-profit that serves the arts is plain hard work. Non-profits have small staffs and each person must wear many hats. Countless records must be kept, communications maintained, board meetings to orchestrate and follow through on.

 All of our wonderful programs come about after hundreds of details have been managed and put in place. It takes a score of volunteers to fill in the gaps we cannot cover. If we were not all steered by our Mission, “to serve artists and writers of all levels to grow and expand in their creative efforts.” the work would seem overwhelming.

I am reminded of What Really Matters at unexpected moments when someone, like many of you, takes the time to let us know that what we do has made a difference in your life.

Please let me share with you two wonderful stories that were sent to me recently from two who have taken workshops with CMA:

North Carolina poet, Janet Joyner, sent me a letter letter this week this news


"Janet Joyner's varied poems include lyrical descriptions of the natural world and draw deft portraits of people and the complicated connections between us. Waterborne is threaded with vivid images and insights." 

"Sometimes they are splendid, such as fallen leaves in such a mass / it seemed the sky had turned sea/and spilled the sun at our feet ; sometimes wry, as when the wife of God begins by saying, I could have told you it would end / this way, and ends by suggesting that God Give the grasses another chance ; and sometimes tragic, as in her extraordinary poem, What the Egg Knows, showing us the kid hung on a fence post to watch dawn die over Laramie, how he is no different from you or me, like any creature swimming or striding / in search of his bliss." 


   --Ellen Bass, author of Like a Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love

Sylva artist, Melba Cooper, had this to say about her art works that emerged from her study bees and colony collapse:

“In 2008, I felt shocked awake when I became aware of the serious nature of the colony collapse. I begin to make some representational paintings of bees and beehives. About that time I had several health challenges so painting was a healing place for me to go each day of my recovery. I began to focus more on the deep healing place of the hexagon patterns of cellular structure. My paintings begin to zoom into the interior of the hive. I felt connected and well. I wondered if I could incorporate beeswax into my paintings. In answer to that question, Norma Hendrix, the director of Cullowhee Mountain Arts (CMA), guided me to master teachers in cold wax abstract painting. For the past two years I have been able to study with Janice Mason Steeves, Rebecca Crowell, and Lisa Pressman. I found this medium provided me an informed abstract intuitive approach to painting. I felt freedom of “flying just for the feel of the wind” and the touch of the paint.”

Now, 100 plus paintings later, and Melba has just exhibited her show “Pollination” at The Circular Church in Charleston, SC,
April 1 – 3, which then traveled to Beaufort, SC for an exhibit at the Charles Street Gallery, April 8- 29.
Both exhibit were highly attended.

What We Need? Time and Space

• Thursday, March 31, 2016 •

Artists & Writers Need Time and Space to Create. 
Here is an invitation to "Come to the Lake."

How often have we thought, “If I could just get away and work without the demands of all my day–to–day concerns, I could”…finish that chapter, outline my next work, start a new series of paintings, have time to walk and think and hear the Muse again…“?

All of us have the need to retreat and re-fill. Those of us engaged in the arts need it to the point of desperation at times.Because many of us work out of home studios or offices, our creative time is subject to a myriad of intrusions. Even friends and loved ones might view time carved out for creative work not as “work” and therefore as negotiable. It takes tremendous determination to protect our studio or writing time and still we must stop and grab lunch, and if our spaces are at home, maybe throw in a load of laundry while we are at it - all interruptions to the hard job of being fully present in our true intention.

This is why CMA began programming artist and writer retreats in 2014 - some with and others without workshops. The idea was to prepare a time and space for artists and writers to get away and be supported and nurtured in the serenity of Lake Logan Retreat Center and its unspoiled wilderness. Situated in approximately 300 acres of pristine beauty, the retreat center offers charming and comfortable cabins nestled among winding hiking and walking trails surrounding the 85-acre lake, fed by the Pigeon River flowing down from the Blue Ridge parkway. CMA sets up an airy and light filled studio and provides quiet and private writing spaces for both visual artists and writers. Supplementary yoga, mindfulness sessions, an evening fire circle, and massages by appointment are offered to enrich your retreat experience. The Cullowhee Mountain Arts board of directors and I see this gathering as one of the jewels in our programming for writers and artists of every media.

Each cabin has a lovely view of the lake, private rooms with baths, with linens and coffee makers provided. The dining hall – with its large fireplaces, couches and chairs – provides a relaxing place to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee any time of the day. Three delicious meals are chef-prepared, using local veggies in season added to the menu. As a practicing artist myself, I understand the necessity of unfettered time and space to do our “sacred” work – to use our talents and give our gifts back to the world.

Our first retreat of 2016 is a little over a month away, May 9 – 14, and spaces are still available. (All the Details). Why not join us? Come to the Lake! (All our 2016 Retreats)

I hope to see you there!
Norma Hendrix, Executive Director

Come cool off at the Lake - 3 "cool" retreats - August, September, October

• Monday, July 27, 2015 •

The First Retreat, August 21 - 25:  The perfect chance to join other artists and writers fot an extended weekend retreat. An affordable artist & writer getaway, the structure of this retreat does not include workshops. It instead provides a time to discover the beauty of Lake Logan’s nearly 300 acres or pristine beauty and embrace a personal retreat with options for doing your artwork or creative writing.

Whether plein air painting, mixed media in the studio or creative writing in one of lodges or cabins, this time allows you to refresh the body, soul and spirit. Each day begins and ends with Yoga sessions led by Christopher Baxter, available for any who wish to be guided into yoga and breath-work used to unlock creativity. In addition to Yoga, CMA is also hosting Artist-in-residence painter Karen Weihs and Writer-in-Residence Poet Pat Riviere-Seel who will be available to engage, direct and facilitate artists and writers during the retreat. Evenings will be open for discussion groups and demonstrations led by Karen Weihs and Pat Riviere-Seel. Explore your creativity in a supportive environment. The total cost: $750; 5 days, 4 nights, all inclusive: Studio space, private room and bath in shared cottage, 3 meals with all day - beverage service, optional yoga sessions, guided work sessions and as much time as you need in quiet personal space. Canoeing and swimming are also available during the retreat. To register, follow this link.

The September & October Retreats  
Combining the essentials for a meaningful retreat with high level workshops

Leave the details of living behind and give yourself a creative retreat. Supported by the majesty of unspoiled nature you will be given the time and serenity to refill your creative well.  The intention for each retreat is to create an environment for reflection and space to assimilate what you are learning and taking in; allow a step-back from the classical workshop environment of intense focus and output. Instead, workshop time is combined with moments set aside for mindfulness, nature walks, yoga sessions, or sitting quietly in an inspired spot – all opportunities to re-fill the creative well. The Retreats + Workshops, 
lodging, dining, movement and mindfulness sessions, bonfires, and other activities all take place at the pristine Lake Logan Retreat Center in Canton, NC, approximately 40 miles west of Asheville, NC.  During your stay you will also have opportunities to enjoy quiet outdoor spaces,
wildlife walks, lake views, canoeing, and swimming.  

The September 11 – 16, 6-day, 5-night Retreat workshops taught by: 
instructor-artist Rebecca Crowell and author-poet-instructor Roger Housden
Spaces are still available. The all-inclusive price is $1549 - Follow this link for all the details.

The October 19 – 25, 7-day, 6-night Retreat workshops taught by: 
instructor-artist Lisa Pressman and author-instructor Laura Hendrie
Spaces are still available. The all-inclusive price is $1679 - Follow this link for all the details.