The horses are coming!
Published 10:00 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016
This is a phrase most people are seeing and hearing all around the Foothills and beginning this week, the completed works of art have begun “popping up” in Landrum and Tryon. Each week, from now through May, as you drive through our Foothills towns of Landrum, Tryon, Columbus and Saluda, be sure to look for the life-size pieces of art throughout our community on display until mid August.
Art of the Horse is a 16-month arts project and fundraising campaign that is now in its 11th month. As part of Our Carolina Foothills, a local 501(c)3 organized to educate the public on the small towns in the Carolina Foothills (Landrum, Tryon, Columbus and Saluda) through events and campaigns that attract tourists, Art of the Horse has created excitement and awareness on so many different levels.
“We’ve been blessed with so much support from the media and the community thus far even though most of our horses have been out of community reach, until now,” says Mindy Wiener. “This is when the fun really begins. We hope that the community embraces the presence of public art in each of the towns and takes the opportunity to appreciate the months of work that our talented group of artists has poured into these sculptures and the generosity of our sponsors that made this project a reality.”
Upcoming events such as the Pre Race Soiree hosted by Tryon Riding & Hunt Club on May 6 and the 70th Annual Blockhouse Steeplechase (the community’s largest attended one day event attracting upwards to 20,000 people) will feature the unveiling of six horses. This will be the only time the horses are grouped together prior to August.
Later in May, at the 13th Annual Saluda Arts Fest, the final and newly added 16th horse will be dedicated as Our Carolina Foothills participates in the festival, which attracts about 4,000 visitors to Saluda.
The first weekend in June we will have a presence at the Blue Ridge BBQ fest which is the second largest tourist gathering in the Foothills. All of these events will provide us the ability to connect with visitors coming to the area and be ambassadors of the Foothills region.
Encouraging people to visit the sculptures during their visit translates into more visits to all of our towns. Interactive maps highlighting the locations of the horses and providing descriptions of the artists and their work will be available from May until August throughout the community, at the above events and at our First Peak Visitors Center.
We encourage people to visit the horses and post pictures via social media on Facebook and Instagram using hashtags #artofthehorse or #ourcarolinafoothills, or to submit their own photos or stories to the
Tryon Daily Bulletin of how this project has touched them from a personal or business perspective.
My children, Amelia and Jasper Nespeca, were thrilled to take a picture with “Happy Harry” Sunday in front of Ken Feagin Truck & Trailer which is conveniently located just across from Brookwood Park. We’ve begun making it a game of “I spy” each time we pass through the towns. It’s amazing how much more observant they are becoming reading signs and questioning the places they see horses. It’s opened conversation about the businesses, the artists and has created a cost free family activity.
Stay tuned for more updates or log onto Our Carolina Foothills website, ourcarolinafoothills.com, and social media pages to see highlights of the entire project that runs through August.
– Submitted by Mindy Wiener