Works by Tatyana Dyakomov

Works by Tatyana Dyakomov during the Mountain Splash event.

WEST JEFFERSON — Visitors at the Florence Thomas Art School from Sept. 9-14 were treated with a week of artists in residence, workshops and demonstrations thanks to the first ever Mountain Splash event.

Gallery Manager Joni Ray said the event’s planning began in January, inspired by a similar one in Tennessee.

“We had artists from Elizabeth City, Raleigh, Statesville and Virginia, so to have them in the gallery all week and getting to watch them work was very inspiring,” Ray said.

One of those artists was Michael Rooney, who lives in the Wilmington area.

“I love coming up here, West Jefferson’s a great little town with a cool art scene,” Rooney said, adding it was “great to see the galleries thriving.”

Rooney said the event itself was great to be at, since it is not often people get to see him actually make his works. Ray said that seeing the artists create their work and talk to them about their process allowed visitors to make a more personal connection with the works of the artist.

Ray said the feedback from the event has been very positive, which will likely lead to Mountain Splash becoming a yearly event moving forward.

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