Lee Harper 2021

Lee Harper was named artist-in-residence at Blowing Rock’s Edgewood Cottage

BLOWING ROCK — Hickory native and longtime Blowing Rock summer resident, Lee Harper, is the artist-in-residence at Edgewood Cottage for the week of Aug. 2-8.

Harper will be at the cottage each day of her residency from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. to discuss and sell her work. She will also paint new works while onsite. This will be harper’s fifth year as artist-in-residence at the cottage, located on Main Street in Blowing Rock. The Edgewood Cottage Artist-in-Residence program is sponsored by the Blowing Rock Historical Society.

“It’s an honor to again be invited by the Blowing Rock Historical Society to share my art with Blowing Rock residents and visitors,” Harper said.

“I plan to exhibit 30 paintings featuring dancers, landscapes and still lifes, and all will be offered for sale. I’m delighted to share the space with fellow artist and friend, Tunde Afolayan Famous, whose talent and work are well-known to this community,” she said.

“My roots run deep in this beautiful place, and Blowing Rock serves as an inspiration for many of my works; not only do my husband and I own a home here, but my family has been summering in Blowing Rock for centuries – ever since my ancestor George Washington Finley Harper rode up from Lenoir on horseback in the 1700s,” Harper said.

“I’m looking forward to greeting old friends and meeting new ones Aug. 2-8,”

Lee Harper, founding director of Atlanta’s Lee Harper & Dancers, is one of the Southeast’s most influential and inspirational arts leaders. She attended the Juilliard School of Music and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. She performed professionally with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the Pearl Lang Dance Theater, the All Nations Dance Company and the Atlanta Contemporary Dance Company. For over four decades, Miss Harper has taught thousands of children, choreographed productions for some of the region’s premier arts organizations, directed her talented group of professional dancers and dazzled audiences with her one-woman shows.

In addition to her remarkable dance career, Harper is also a fine arts painter, presenting art shows and serving as artist-in-residence at art centers in Blowing Rock, Atlanta, and Madison, Ga. In acknowledgement of her tremendous body of work and influence, Harper received the Georgia Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities in 2016. In December 2000, the Harper family donated their historic family home, Harper House, to the Historical Association of Catawaba County in Hickory, NC. She is married to attorney Wayne Vason, and they have two grown children, Katie and Fin.

Built in 1890, Edgewood Cottage was the first home of American artist Elliott Daingerfield. The structure was restored by the Blowing Rock Historical Society and is now used for special events and the popular Artists-in-Residence program. Harper’s exhibit includes a public reception Thursday, Aug. 5 from 6-8 p.m.

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