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.