BOONE — The Watauga County Arts Council is celebrating Boone’s 150th anniversary with a gallery of High Country-inspired artwork.

“Scenes of the High Country: A Boone 150 Showcase” opened at the King Street Art Collective on June 3 and will be up through the end of the month. The gallery features popular imagery from Watauga County, with paintings of the Jones House, the train at Tweetsie Railroad and various landscapes.

“In honor of Boone 150, we decided to do a ‘Scenes of the High Country’ exhibit,” said Amber Bateman, executive director of the Watauga County Arts Council. “Then, we invited artists to put inspired pieces from the High Country up.”

Many of the paintings on display are from a Plein Air event that took place in May called “Paint the Town,” where artists painted outdoor scenes from around Boone on-site, Bateman said. Some of the pieces are also from High Country Plein Air Painters, a group that meets each Wednesday, said Anna Buckner, a board member of the Watauga County Arts Council.

Marion Cloaninger, who has two pieces on display in the gallery, said the prompt was really about people trying to paint what they saw. Cloaninger’s pieces are collages and she describes them as abstract.

“It was kind of fun to see people’s interpretations,” Cloaninger said.

The Boone 150 celebration will continue with events throughout the year.

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