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Art show benefits Lake Lure-based food pantry


Christopher Tavernier, the teen pianist sensation from Hendersonville, and clarinet player Matthew Hanna reprised their recent classical music concert indoors.

It seemed everyone but Morris the Horse, Tryon’s giant wooden landmark, jammed Carri Bass Photography Studio & Art Gallery at 91 N. Trade St. in Tryon to see art and hear the music.

This was her grand reopening, after moving down the street then into an entire lower level. It was also the opening reception for four artists in her studio. For instance, Diane Breaker’s “Soul Searching” exhibit was more than 20 “soul” sculptures with metallic glazing, in Bass’ gallery. Trade Street was hopping with several events that night, such as The Bottle’s weekly Friday night wine tasting.

HNGO, which started in 2001, goes simply by “Outreach.” The Lake Lure-based, non-profit food pantry serves Edneyville, Gerton and other parts of northern Henderson County. Covering the U.S. 74/64 corridor area, it goes into very eastern Buncombe County, down to Mill Spring in Polk County, and nearby parts of Rutherford County.

The group serves an average of 337 area people and 90 families monthly with meals mostly, said Director Hope Wittmer. She has been board president since 2013. Outreach’s general food bank is open for each client once a month, for a three to five-day supply for the family.

There is a Food for Kids program. Over 60 percent of recipients are 17 or younger, Wittmer said. Eligible children get weekend snack packs, and school supplies ahead of the academic year, Wittmer said. She said 206 children recently got holiday gifts via Outreach, which saw that 182 families received meals on the latest Thanksgiving then provided a $35 gift card aimed for Christmas meals.

The group seeks donation of money, tuna fish, Chunky brand soup or equivalent, canned fruit, rice, pasta, low-sugar cereal, single-serve oatmeal; also paper towels, tissue and bathroom paper. Outreach gets a pricing break on food and other items from MANNA Food Bank.

Much of the proceeds go to Outreach from Lake Lure spring and autumn arts and crafts festivals, and from Lake Lure Classical Academy fundraising, Wittmer said. The office is east of Lake Lure Beach, at 2594 Memorial Hwy (U.S. 74).

Wittmer noted that as more money is raised, the group can do more in helping those most in need pay rent, mortgage, utility, gasoline and medical expenses. “Our mission is to help eliminate hunger,” she said, “and provide emergency services with love and compassion to those in need that live in our community.”

Outreach Mgr. Linda Ratschan expanded Food for Kids. The retired nurse oversees the more than 40 volunteers. Other board members are Treasurer Steven Smith, Secretary Patrick Bryant, Patti Stewart, and Bernadette Smith. Several attendees brought food donations.

Wittmer won the silent auction, with the highest ($200) of a half-dozen written viewable bids. The prize is Breaker’s black ceramic sculpture, entitled “Giving Soul” in honor of benevolence.

Breaker mounts many of her sculptures onto a rock base, reflecting their being “grounded to the earth.” The Chicago-area native — now in Lake Lure — transitioned from oil painting to ceramics.

Much art from Bass’ “Carrie and Friends Art Show” Friday will stay in her studio for the rest of February. The show featured Breaker’s sculptures, welder Allyson McPhaul’s metallic and other home and garden decor, fused glass by Pan Goodhand, and photo art by Blake Johnson. Bass rotates exhibits monthly.

Her first art show of her works is in her gallery Friday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. She enjoys “expressing myself through pencils, paints, photography and now digital images.” Her gallery events are on Facebook. Bass moved to Tryon two years ago, from Spartanburg, S.C. The Tennessee Vols alum grew up in California’s Mohave Desert.

Meanwhile, Tavernier got good training in playing music for the background of the reception, rather than being the focal point as in his many benefit concerts. He said he was able to focus, and actually liked not having the spotlight on for a change.

“I can experiment” with subtle nuances, in his interpretations of classical pieces, Tavernier said.

He normally plays only classical music, but departed from that in his latest show. He closed with a new twist — nailing an intricate composition instrumental of rock band Journey’s inspirational hit “Don’t Stop Believin.’” It was almost enough to get Morris — fifth-generation version of the stationary landmark in the center of Tryon since 1928 — to evolve into a “rocking horse.”

For more on Outreach, call 625-4683 or check

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