Functional artways series celebrates Christmas in Appalachia

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Nov 28, 2017 at 8:49 PM

UNICOI — The Tanasi Arts & Heritage Center will continue its Functional Artways of Appalachia series Saturday, Dec. 9, with a Christmas open house and hands-on instruction in the creation of nature-filled ornaments, natural bird feeders and origami

The open house and hands-on instruction from professional artists will be held from noon until 4 p.m. at the Unicoi Tourist Information and Visitor Center located at 106 Unicoi Village Place just off Interstate 26.

The free event is the fifth in a year-long series of functional art demonstrations being funded through a grant from National Endowment for the Arts.

December’s program will be led by origami artist Ellen Pitts and naturalist artist Ann Wolfgram

An elementary art director and teacher at East Tennessee State University’s University School with 40 years experience, Pitts will lead program participants in the folding of holiday themed origami pieces, including a dove, a tree, a wreath, a mouse and a box with a lid. The take-home paper creations may be used as Christmas ornaments or as gift wrapping decorations.

A self-taught naturalist artist with over 30 years of experience, Wolfgram will share the art of making natural bird feeders and nature-filled glass Christmas ornaments.

Program participants will use oranges, pine cones, evergreens and other natural materials to create and decorate the bird feeders tied with twine and ready to hang outdoors.

Participants will also fashion unique glass ornaments filled with evergreens, moss, pine cones and dried flowers and tied with ribbons to hang from a Christmas tree or to give as a gift.

Pre-registration for the free program is recommended but not required and may be completed online at www.tanasiarts.org/event-registration. Assistance for hearing, vision or Spanish-language translation may be requested on the registration form.

An exploration of traditional Appalachian arts and crafts that are both beautiful and useful, the grant-funded functional artways series will continue into the new year with free, interactive programming led by professional artisans.

More information about the December program and the series is available at the website or may be obtained by calling 423-735-0217.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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