Archived Story

Hidden talent at Blue Ridge School of Equestrian Arts

Published 2:32pm Wednesday, March 28, 2012

by Kirk Gollwitzer

The next time you’re traveling west on I-26, just below the North Carolina border, look off to the right and catch a glimpse of the Blue Ridge School of Equestrian Arts.

The school sits on a gorgeous piece of land complete with rolling hills, picturesque ponds and horses peacefully grazing.

Near the center of the property sits a huge covered arena, dressage center, numerous paddocks, barn and a conference hall.

Sue Spiegel

Large water fountains, carefully manicured trees and artwork surround every aspect of the property, all designed to create a relaxing environment for riding and artistic creation.

While outside there is plenty of equestrian activity, inside students are quietly discovering a hidden talent they never dreamed they had, all under the insightful guidance of Sue Spiegel.

Spiegel welcomes everyone to the school in a quiet and unassuming manner, rarely showing off her artwork that literally surrounds you as you move through the building.

“Sue made these herself,” people whisper, as they notice sculpted horses, birds, dresses, costumes and glamorous hats that she creates each year for the Block House Steeplechase. Every creation comes complete with imaginative forms, shapes and colors.

“I find it relaxing and stimulating, I even dream about it. I feel closer to God when I’m creating art,” Spiegel said during a recent interview.

Spiegel transfers her position of an artist to that of the actual subject while she molds, forms and stretches her media into a lifelike creation.

“Sometime I find myself actually thinking like a water lily, reaching for the light and moving in the water,” Spiegel said.

While many artists hide their abilities, keeping their methods close to their vests, Spiegel opens up to her students, sharing her talent and technique, during her regularly scheduled art classes. Her students also learn from each other during their hours of relaxing creation, surprise themselves with artwork they never dreamed they would ever be able to produce but now can with Sue Spiegel’s help.

During the year Spiegel’s designs are put on display during “learning lunches,” fashion shows and benefits.

She is currently designing plaques for the River Valley Pony Club.

For more information, call Spiegel at 864-457-2478 or follow her blog at brsea.blogspot.com.

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