Suzanne Strickland (L) is the president of Our Carolina Foothills, and Mindy Wiener (R) is the director. They are both co-chairs of the project Art of the Horse. They pose in front of the horse, “Peacekeeper,” painted by Gigi Dover and sponsored by Stone Soup Restaurant
Our Carolina Foothills is the promoter of the public art project called Art of the Horse. This project is somewhat similar to the Bear Project in Hendersonville.
This creative fund-raising project comes to a finale Friday, August 19th when the 16 horses are auctioned off. These horses are large, life-size fiber glass horses all individually painted by regional artists and part of the fund raising efforts to promote the foothills region just south of Hendersonville. Painted themes range from equestrian scenes to patchwork quilt scenes. Suzanne Strickland and Mindy Wiener, both co-chairs of the Art of the Horse Project were on site last weekend when the horses were on display at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring. “We have received a great response from the community with this project, and look forward to completing an eighteen month endeavor, with the auction event happening on Friday,” Strickland said earlier this week. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is open to the public and entry is free of charge. The atmosphere is family oriented, and open seven days a week. The auction, which takes place from 8:00–9:00 pm, is free and open to the public. There is a buffet dinner before the auction, from 7:00–8:00 pm, tickets are $75 per person, but seating is limited; for tickets, call 828-817-1079.
A word from the artist: The original concept for Quilting Bea covered her with traditional quilt patches. This area is home to many passionate quilters; a drive through our towns and countryside gives travelers an opportunity to enjoy the many painted squares that make up local quilt trails.
The Quilting Bea concept began to evolve during a conversation about inclusiveness. The original concept quickly and easily evolved into a determination to recognize and honor local groups whose primary focus is service to our community. Polk County, the Town of Columbus and the Polk County Schools were my sponsors, inspiring me to consider what makes ours a unique and wonderful area. The people, the institutions, the gift of agricultural abundance and the tremendous natural beauty of our region inspired me. Bea is a happy creation with one dark cloud being the fact that space prevented a more complete tribute to everyone who benefits our area.
On a lighter note, Bea taught me the perils of fiberglass work and the limitations of Bondo. Saddle, thread, scissors, bolts of fabric and a thimble realistic enough to compel me to paint “this is a thimble” add to the very rough needle in Bea’s right front hoof to support my conviction that no body shop is likely to offer me work. The Art of the Horse was a tremendous life experience that I will always treasure.
See more about Carolina Foothills at www.ourcarolinafoothills.com,