BOONE — A new collaboration between Appalachian State’s Department of Art and the Watauga Arts Council has brought a bit of the university art scene to downtown Boone in the form of a public art exhibition.

The exhibition, called “3rd Hour,” will be on display at the Watauga Arts Council’s King Street Art Collective until April 24, and showcases the work of seniors from ASU’s Graphic Design Program. The exhibition is one of the first times that ASU’s students have been able to display their work in a public setting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With COVID-19, over the last year there hasn’t been a lot of physical exhibitions, or in-person exhibitions. So this is the first time that the students have been able to show work and really make physical work in over a year at least,” said Stephen Parks, Assist Professor of Graphic Design at Appalachian State. “They’re really excited to show this work off and have the ability for the community to see it.”

According to Parks, the “3rd Hour” exhibition is made of work from 13 students, each displaying one solo piece and one collaborative piece. The exhibition also features more than 20 works of art, with many of the displays relating to current events.

“The amount of work and dedication that they’ve put into this is really hard to put into words,” said Parks. Just countless hours and sleepless nights of just working through projects and concepts,” said Parks. “They’ve been working on this for a really long time. Throughout the course of this semester it’s been really great to see each project really blossom into the final form, which is what you see here.”

Though this is a first time partnership between the Graphic Design Program and the Watauga Arts Council, the pair hopes to expand their partnership in the future.

“It’s a new partnership that we’re really hoping to grow,” said Parker.

Following the “3rd Hour” exhibition, the King Street Art Collective will host work from ASU’s Industrial Design Program from April 26 to May 9 and Fine Arts Program from May 10 to May 16. For more information about upcoming exhibitions and events hosted by the Watauga Arts Council visit www.watauga-arts.org/#/.

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