By Carol Antman for Island Eye News
Picasso said that “the purpose of art is to wash away the dust of daily life from our souls.” Who couldn’t use more of that? Here are a few perspective altering experiences to get onto your calendar now.
Join hands in a circle of positivity at the family-friendly LEAF Festival in Black Mountain, N.C. Stages are tucked around the beautiful lake. Camping and cabins are perched on the mountainside. You can start the day with soul stirring Gospel music or join an outdoor yoga class; dance all day to rock, world or Blues bands, sashay into contra lines and drum on the mountaintop until the wee hours. You’ll come home with legs like spaghetti from dancing so much; and with a playlist of favorite bands that you didn’t know you love. Next festival is May 11-14 with the enticing theme of Ignite and Inspire. Or go for the fall foliage October 19-22. www.theleaf.org. Find more festival ideas see www.musicfestivalwizard.com.
Envelope Yourself in an Art Environment
A stunning renovation of St. EOM’s 7-acre creation, Pasaquan, recently opened to the public in Buena Vista Georgia. The colorful compound contains undulating walls, ceremonial spaces, buildings and shrines that the artist felt compelled to create over the course of 30 years. It had almost crumbled to ruin but after a three year restoration it is now an amazingly odd, inspiring sight and a national treasure. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 to 5, donation $10. https://pasaquan.columbusstate.edu.
Show Little Sister some Love
Don’t compare it to Spoleto. Savannah has its own cache. The venues are charming, the crowds are smaller, the prices are reasonable and the music is stellar. The 2017 Savannah Music Festival’s line up includes a feat of strength: Stewart Goodyear’s “Sonatathon” program where he’ll play all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas in one day as well as a dazzling array of international musicians from Pakistan, Quebec, Canary Islands, Haiti, Brazil that contrast with headliners such as The Avett Brothers, Sarah Jarosz, the Travelin’ McCourys, Marcia Ball and James Cotton, not to mention the broad selection of classical concerts. March 23 to April 8. www.savannahmusicfestival.org.
The Town that Art Awoke
Artfields is “the best thing since the invention of grits,” said Lake City gift shop owner Sophia Powell as she wrapped another purchase.
This brainchild of philanthropist Darla Moore has created huge economic impact and launched dozens of art careers. Hundreds of artists apply to exhibit their work in galleries, stores and restaurants.
They’ve vying for prizes totaling $100,000. Patrons flood the town for the free event, transforming sleepy Lake City into art destination worth the short drive. April 21 to 29. Free. www.artfieldssc.org
Do it By the Book
Climb into a book by reading them on location. Relax on a chaise lounge at the King and Prince Hotel on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia while reading Eugenia Price’s “Lighthouse.” Have high tea at Hopsewee Plantation in Georgetown while imagining the carryings-on at the infamous Sunset Lodge brothel featured in “Keeper of the House.”
Reread Pat Conroy’s earliest book “The Water is Wide” on Daufuskee Island. In Hot Springs, N.C. you can warm up from reading Cold Mountain or hike the Appalachian Trail to rediscover America as Bill Bryson did. The trail goes right down Main Street. Savannah has experienced a huge influx of visitors seeking out sights from “Midnight in the Garden and Good and Evil.” And that’s just a start…
Make it and Take It
I surfed a creative wave at J.C. Campbell Folk School and rode it all week. The sprawling, beautiful campus north of Atlanta is an art retreat of the highest order, full of hundreds of fun-loving adults. It offers scores of week-long and shorter classes such as photography, cooking, gardening, blacksmithing, painting, dancing; something for everyone. Beginners are common. The food is wonderful, the rural setting gorgeous and the teachers couldn’t be more encouraging. If you need a creative re-boot, this is the place. www.folkschool.org
Kiawah is Calling
Since 2004, Earl Klugh has been bringing world-renowned musicians to the five-star Sanctuary Hotel each November. They’re so popular that many folks book for the following year as they leave. So book your weekend of luxury now. As Sharon Baker, a frequent patron puts it, “Sitting outside along the Atlantic Ocean under starry skies, listening to world class jazz artists like Earl Klugh, Gerald Albright, Jonathan Butler and Michael McDonald, sipping wine…and enjoying the sublime luxury of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, that’s why my husband Kenny Baker and I return again and again to the Kiawah Jazz Festival each November.” The resort also hosts a yearly Comedy Festival every January. www.weekendofjazz.com/kiawah. Get out your calendar and plan an artistic escape. Your soul will thank you for it.
Roadtrips Charleston highlights interesting destinations within a few hours drive of Charleston, S.C. as well as more far flung locales. Carol Antman’s wanderlust is driven by a passion for outdoor adventure, artistic experiences, cultural insights and challenging travel. For hot links, photographs and previous columns or to make comments please see www.peaksandpotholes.blogspot.com.