Hot Springs painter to open art gallery in old Biker Depot building

© Courtesy of Terry Thirion Hot Springs Fine Arts owner Terry Thirion said the business will open in late October or early November.

HOT SPRINGS – While Mars Hill’s newest art gallery opened this summer, a separate gallery is set to open in Hot Springs this fall.

Hot Springs Fine Arts will open in late October or early November, according to owner Terry Thirion, who bought the building in June. The building sits across from Laughing Heart Lodge in the building previously known as Hot Springs Biker Depot. 

Thirion is a painter and semi-retired life coach who has owned a home in Hot Springs along the Laurel River for 25 years. She and her husband, Bob Fitzpatrick, moved full time to the area from Charlotte in May. 

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Thirion said she originally intended to use it as her studio. But once she bought the building, she thought it would work well as a gallery space too.  

“I’m using half the building for studio space,” Thirion said. “The gallery space will be used for showing my work and some of the work of the artists in the area. I’d like to open it up to some lectures, and perhaps some small classes. I’ve always been interested in bringing artists together and being able to be a conduit for arts and artists.”  

Thirion said she was involved with the Charlotte Art League and hopes to mentor Madison County artists as well. 

“My idea is to find one or two artists who are taking turns manning the gallery, I don’t want to be a retail place. I’ll probably be open three-to-four days a week, over the weekends. It’s a wonderful, quiet town. There’s really not much happening (during the week). Mainly, I am looking at having it become what it becomes organically, to see what works. Since the place is small, I would have to give preference to someone who is actually able to work the gallery.” 

Still, Thirion said she is staying open-minded and prefers to let the process play out over time. 

“What I have at this point is ideas of what I’d like this space to be,” she said. “But as I said, I want it to develop organically, with an attitude of ‘Let’s see what develops.’ With what we’ve been going through this last year and a half, nothing seems predictable.”

Mayor Abby Norton said she is optimistic about the gallery. 

“I think the community will benefit,” she said. “The owners have been in touch with Brian Boles, who owns Boles Art, and with others in the community and are hoping to provide space for other artists.”

Thirion can be reached at terry@enjoylifenow.com, and her website is www.terrythirion.com 

© Courtesy of Terry Thirion Hot Springs Fine Arts will open at 339 NW U.S. 25/70 HWY in Hot Springs, the building that was formerly called Hot Springs Biker Depot.

Hot Springs newsletter 

During the Hot Springs Town Board of Aldermen’s Sept. 13 meeting, resident Ike Lassiter proposed the idea of forming an email newsletter to alert interested residents about upcoming events. 

“I will make sure there is no criticism of other people, (nor) any political or religious content, or nothing that would be offensive to anyone,” he said. “It would basically be informing people about events coming up, things that people have to sell or to loan, and things that people are looking to buy or borrow.” 

Lassiter said he plans to be the newsletter’s editor, and is in the process of forming a list of residents interested in being included on the newsletter. 

“As you know, it’s very difficult to communicate with people,” Lassiter said. “A lot of people don’t read the newspaper. A lot of people don’t go to the post office, and even if they do, they don’t look on the wall and see what’s posted there. It would be something that would not have any expense, and at least in the beginning it would involve just attaching a Word document that is formatted as a newsletter to an email.” 

Norton said though the newsletter is a private venture, the town plans to alert residents of the newsletter in their water and sewer bills, and to gauge interest in the idea.

“It would be nice to have a local venue for residents to contribute to,” Norton said. “I hope there are enough people interested to make it a success.” 

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Hot Springs painter to open art gallery in old Biker Depot building

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