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Opening Reception for Appalachian Strings and Anima Appalachia

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Opening June 10 from 5-7 will be two new exhibitions: Appalachian Strings in the Hayloft Gallery and Anima Appalachia by Lauren Cooper in the Falcon Gallery.

About the Appalachian Strings Exhibition:

Hayloft Gallery - June 10 - August 5, 2023

Curated by local luthier, Mike Mears, luthiers across the New River Valley will be showcasing their impressive and gorgeous builds, featuring musical instruments as you've never seen them before. The wealth of creativity in Appalachia never ceases to amaze!

Please join us for our opening reception on Saturday, June 10, 5-7pm. "Appalachian Strings" will also include an Instrument Show & Sale on Saturday and Sunday, July 8 & 9. Interested in having a booth to sell? Please contact us at

Finally, we will come together to celebrate once more at our closing reception with a concert by The Mike Mitchell Band! Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 5, 5-7pm.

This is sure to be a unique and eye-opening experience! We look forward to seeing everyone at our opening reception. Thank you to Mike Mears for bringing this wonderful creation to our space!

About Anima Appalachia - Solo Exhibition:

Falcon Gallery - June 10 - August 5, 2023

"In selecting pieces for this show," states Lauren Cooper, "I am attempting to pay homage to the animistic spirit of the land and inhabitants of my home for the past 33 years in the Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia. My work is an expression of my connection to the spirits, ancestors, and ghosts of these beautiful mountains, of our old vernacular farmhouse home, and the surrounding gardens and woodlands that make up Greenstar Farm and Apothecary."

"I enjoy working in a variety of media and am especially happy to include several paintings from an ongoing new series on homemade rabbit skin parchment in this exhibit. We have kept a rabbitry for over 12 years as part of our family self sufficiency endeavors, and recently figured out how to process meat rabbit hides into parchment suitable for painting and calligraphy."

"All my work attempts to express my animistic vision of my world. I am concerned with ideas and pursuits of shape shifting, experiences with animal allies, healing with plant allies, practices of folk magic, and in general, art making to assuage ecological grief. Ultimately I attempt to inspire creativity and resilience in myself and others moving through climate change and other daunting challenges of the 21st century. All my work is rooted in our local terrain and community."

- Lauren Cooper

Artist Biography

Lauren’s formal training as a visual artist resulted in a BFA in 1983 from Purchase College in New York. After graduation, she turned her attention to making a living for herself as a chef and a bread baker, and then, since 1991, with her family as a self employed farmer and community herbalist at her family’s home: Greenstar Farm and Apothecary In Blacksburg, Virginia. She has continued painting and making artistic objects all along, mainly in the winter months when the load of farm and herb chores is less and there is some time to do other things.

Lauren’s work as an artist is entirely exploratory. She works on two and three dimensional projects including multi media drawings, paintings, collages and installations. The work over time shares common themes around her practice with medicinal plants, ecological grief, accessing the spirit world, healing, alchemy, and her animistic vision of a luminous spirit filled world of mysterious beings.

Influences include: Found Objects, Folk Art from all over the world, Appalachian craft, Folk Medicine, DIY culture, Voodoo Altars, Native American beading and other art, Art Brut, Rock and Roll Culture, Post Punk sensibility, Psychedelic Art, Outsider Art, Children’s book illustration, Occult images, Tarot, Alchemical illustrations, Religious Icons, Tattoo Art, Medieval Art, and Surrealism.

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