June 11, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC —
I write this letter with a heavy heart. I never thought I would have to express my feelings about people that represent themselves as part of the Blowing Rock Library and thus the community as a whole.
I am seriously appalled about what happened this weekend and feel your community needs to know how the local library employees feel about Art in The Park and the artists that work so hard to bring their wonderful art to your community.
I am an older fellow, 60 years young who grew up with the notion that the local library was full of knowledge, wisdom and very often are supporters of the arts.
My experience with libraries growing up was one of excitement as I knew each visit would bring new and wonderful travels as I explored the works of wonderful historians, authors and the arts that the shelves of the revered institution of ” The Library ” held. Among the rows of books both old and new were the quiet, respectful, intelligent, and the most wonderful people I have ever met — until now. The librarians…I think my bubble was busted today in Blowing Rock.
Today I met some of the nastiest, rudest, and most distasteful older women in my 60 years of attending numerous venues.
I have been visiting what I thought until now was the wonderful town of Blowing Rock since 1979, and on a yearly basis. Recent years have brought me to Blowing Rock about 4 – 5 times a year to support my girlfriend, a well know artist who travels up and down the East Coast showing and displaying her talent for many to see. She has representation in numerous galleries and museums and has built up a loyal following among the many visitors to the Blowing Rock Art in the Park event so graciously hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Those Chamber folks do a wonderful job supporting the many artists attending their show.
My belief with the Blowing Rock community — as with all communities that support the arts — is that attracting such artistic talent helps keep Blowing Rock vibrant and alive . The many visitors to this event spend thousands of dollars not just with the artists attending the show, but they also support the diverse store owners in the community as well. They eat at the local establishments and visit the many stores that line the downtown area. This benefits the community as a whole.
So that leads me to my disturbing experience with what one would normally hope would be sweet older ladies running and supporting the library. What we experienced today, Saturday June 10th, is the following — and I understand this is not the first time.
Today I met some of the most nasty, rude and distasteful group of older women I have ever met in my 60 years of attending numerous venues. I am appalled by what we experienced.
My girlfriend and other artists were setting up for the show and, as usual, artists have to store their boxes and excessive inventory behind their booths as is done at every art show we attend. While setting up, a woman came out of the library (keep in mind this was along the side of the library, not in front) and verbally accosted my girlfriend, relentlessly, and told her to move everything out of the way. Keep in mind that this is before the show had started. As with all shows, the artists do their best to cover and remove their boxes out of the way before the shows starts for obvious reasons: so as to not block the walkways and to make the area presentable.
My girlfriend stood in absolute shock as she was continuously abused by this individual for no reason at all. Early visitors of the show even had to hear this as well.
I was told to shut up, to go away, and that ‘we don’t want