The World is But a Canvas

I recently spoke with Billy Love, artist and education director for The Bascom, about his role in the arts community.  

We began by defining Art’s function in society, particularly Highlands and Cashiers.

“Art is boundless,” he says. “It helps people express their emotions.  It can communicate things words cannot.  Art can connect cultures, be therapeutic, move us, and make us move.  It consoles us, stirs us up, opens doors, boosts our economy, makes us feel good or simply makes us feel.” 

As education director Love wants to ensure art is accessible to beginning art students, art dilettantes, art supporters, and art professionals.  In other words, his mission is to make art part of many people’s lives in a variety of ways.  

“It makes me feel good to design opportunities, to watch people explore them, and to see their successful results,” he says.

He’s done that well and often.  The class schedule, with its roster of world-famous artist/teachers, is a boon to Western North Carolina.  It puts Highlands in league with big cultural centers around the country. 

Under Love’s direction, The Bascom’s artist-in-residence and emerging artist program has a huge ripple effect on the artistic community, particularly with the K-12 afterschool program. 

Artist-in-residence Byron Tenesaca had an impressive impact on the children’s program. His innovative photographic style fascinated the students.  It encouraged vast exploration and discovery, expanding the curriculum to include this new medium.  

Working with homeschooler Noah Carver, 14, Byron was able to open a door to a burgeoning artist.  Now Noah has a new digital camera and his own show at The Bascom on the horizon.  

Some people in the creative world are artists, but some are artful administrators who see to it that art and artists are supported.  Billy Love is a fine artist in that regard, a conduit, channeling assistance to artists and their creations to the world.

If you haven’t taken a class, attended a lecture, or supported a fundraiser for The Bascom’s exceptional educational program, start the 2017 season with an artistic plunge and a phone call to Love at The Bascom (828) 526-4949.  Seize your