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Arts & Entertainment

Being in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, just walking out your front door can be inspiring. Artisans throughout the Franklin community have been drawing on the natural beauty of the region to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces. From pottery to paintings, regardless of the type of art, the one thing they all have in common is the intent of preserving the mountain culture and heritage through art.

Since 2006, Barber Pottery has been handmade by self-taught artisans Mike and Christy Barber. When they aren’t in the studio you can find them hiking or fly fishing in the mountains. Every piece is wheel thrown by Mike before being hand carved by Christy. Finally, each piece of artwork is finished by applying multiple layers of glaze before being fired to more than 2100 degrees. Their carvings and glazes take their inspiration from nature. The pottery they create is intended to be used and enjoyed. Every piece we make is oven, dishwasher, and microwave safe.

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In between planning great shows like concerts from country music star's Charlie Daniels and Kellie Pickler, the Overlook Theatre Company has been hard at work putting the final touches on “The Civil War Musical,” which will take the stage Aug. 23- 26 at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.

Although the cast has been rehearsing for a little more than a month, the musical's production crew has been working on the creative design of the play for more than a year.

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August’s StreetFest makes local shopping a family affair

The newly revived and renamed non-profit organization Streets of Franklin, along with Venture Local, hosted the second downtown block party last Friday night. As locals and firsttime visitors lined the streets, Main Street businesses offered snacks, refreshments and great deals for customers.

Throughout the evening, Main Street echoed the sounds of local musicians including dulcimer players Phil Myers and John Hawk and four bands, Uncle Don's Band, The Cellar Dwellers, A36 and Galaxy News Radio, which were split between two stages. In the midst of the evening activities, Linda Cherry's flash mob hit Main Street and danced “The Wobble.”

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Writer and naturalist George Ellison will read from his new collection of poems, “Permanent Camp,” at the Rickman Store on Friday, Aug. 31, 7 p.m. George Ellison is the author of “Blue Ridge Nature Journal, Mountain Passages,” and the two volume collection “High Vistas: An Anthology of Nature Writing from Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains.”

He is well known for his weekly columns in the Smoky Mountain News, and for his role in the most recent editions of Horace Kephart’s “Our Southern Highlanders and Camping and Woodcraft.”

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