I can conduct art-science activities at your home location, at rental facilities near a state/ national park or other public lands, or at AS IF Center in the mountains of North Carolina. I work at colleges, universities, biological field stations, artists communities, museums, public lands, and other institutions — in the US and Costa Rica. Where would you like to work?
AS IF Center is located in the Southern Appalachian Highlands region, an area of remarkable biological diversity. This lab/studio has access to High Cove community’s 100 acres of mature forest and first-order creeks, with many trails for exploring. AS IF is near the Black Mountains, which are the highest peaks in eastern North America, including the very highest at Mt. Mitchell State Park. The center is an hour from Roan Mountain State Park to the north and from Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, and Linville Gorge to the east/ northeast. The area is part of the Spruce Pine Mining District, a fascinating region for studying earth science, which boasts many unusual geological exposures. Dark skies provide good conditions for stargazing, including at the nearby Bare Dark-Sky Observatory. For more information, read about the Natural History of our region, our Research page, and our page about Local hiking trails.
The center is also located in the Toe River Arts district, which boasts hundreds of craft artists working in clay, glass, fiber, wood, iron, drawing and painting, photography, book arts, mixed media, and more. Many of these artists are internationally recognized, and one is a MacArthur fellow. The hum of this contemporary maker culture is an inspiring place for creative thinking and doing. Artists in the Toe River community support and celebrate each other’s creative projects. In this extraordinary environment, it’s ordinary to create — not just new things, but new ways of working, new ways of thinking. With so many artists here, it is part of the culture to try new things, incorporate failure as part of the process, and courageously follow curiosity. At the heart of all this creativity is Penland School of Craft, nearing its hundredth year of teaching and learning about the work of the hands.
For working at AS IF Center, many affordable options are available. Within walking distance, you can stay at the High Cove Firefly Lodge, or at a neighboring airBnB. There are abundant airBnB options nearby with space for small or large groups — use “Penland, Spruce Pine, Burnsville, or Bakersville” as search terms.
Contact me to find out more about AS IF Center, the area where we are located, and local lodging options.