The most asked question about the first-ever arts event in Candler and Enka was: “What does the ‘I’ stand for in BLISS?”
It stands for imaginative, making it Biltmore Lake’s Imaginative Studio Stroll. The reality is that the “imaginative” provided the opportunity to add bells and whistles to the standard art tour model. The twenty-six host and guest artists were the major draw, of course, and reports are that high traffic, interest, and sales came from attendance as high as 300 people at each studio stroll location and 800 guests in overall attendance. The addition of food, demos, and activities from neighborhood non-profits—and a barn quilt driving tour from Biltmore Lake’s Afternoon Quilters—deepened the experience and engaged organizations in this all-out effort to build cultural capital for Western Buncombe.
The art tour was inspiring, innovative, inviting, and invigorating, meaning that this group of creative activists will continue programming throughout the coming year with events and exhibitions produced by Biltmore Lake Artists, which has grown to be known as Artsville Collective. This organization, dedicated to providing marketing platforms and programs for emerging artists, began as Biltmore Lake Artists in late 2019 when the desire to show and sell their art and craft was first imagined.
Top-notch art and craft brought visibility and substantial sales to BLISS resident artists and their talented guests. The partnerships with neighborhood nonprofits like the Ferguson Family YMCA, A-B Tech’s Small Business Center and its Enka-Candler Tailgate Market, and Connect Enka, were another great success of BLISS.
Let’s Hear from BLISS Participants
Biltmore Lake artist Molly Courcelle says, “BLISS was a real team effort that included my mom Bee Sieburg, neighbor Tanya Franklin, and my kids and friends that volunteered to help load and unload—and even spruce up the yard. BLISS was fun and rewarding, including showing how my art looks in a home setting.”
Candler artist Kurt Ross says, “As a guest artist, I feel the greatest benefit has been an occasion for the community to get to know me and my work. I most enjoyed the chance to meet a variety of people and the opportunity to explain my ceramics process.”
BLISS Chair and Organizer Elaine Scherer says, “BLISS was an eye-opening experience for many of us who had never put on an event of this kind. I have been energized and gratified by the commitment and professionalism of our planning team, artists, and neighborhood supporters.”