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The Toe River Valley in Marshall and Yancey counties is a hotbed for the arts. The population of the two counties is around 30,000 and of that number it is estimated that more than 500 are artists--one of the highest concentrations of artists in the world. Markovich states there are two reasons for this--Harvey Littleton and the Penland School of Crafts at Spruce Pine. Littleton, who came to Spruce Pine in 1977, gained recognition first as a ceramist and later as a glassblower and sculptor in glass. Penland, founded in 1929 by Lucy Morgan, has gained world-wide recognition as a destination for artists.
Our State (NoCar F 251 S77), Vol. 81 Issue 11, Apr 2014, p132-136, 138, 140-142, 144, 146, il Periodical Website
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Mixed-media artist Courtney Dodd, originally of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, creates art from collected objects and flea market finds to create pieces that speak to the nature of loss, change, and regeneration. Her interest began with courses in iron and glass at Penland School of Crafts 2005-2006.