Archive for the ‘Highland NC Visual Arts’ Category

Margaret Browne Named Exhibitions Curator at The Bascom in Highlands, NC

March 16, 2015


Sallie Taylor, Executive Director of the Bascom Center for Visual Arts in Highlands, NC, announced today the appointment of Margaret Browne as Exhibitions Curator.
Browne, who has managed and owned Chivaree Gallery in neighboring Cashiers, NC, since 2012, will be joining the Bascom’s staff full-time effective immediately.

Margaret Browne

“I am thrilled that Margaret is joining the Bascom team,” Taylor said.  “She has been a champion of regional artists at her gallery, and she knows a great deal about the artists and fine craftspeople of this part of the country.  She understands and cares about the community here. ”

Browne began working with the Bascom several months ago when Taylor invited her to guest-curate a show on collage-based art.  The show, entitled “Appropriation Art: Finding Meaning in Found-Image Collage”, will be on view Mar. 14- May 31, 2015, in the Bascom’s Loft gallery.  While working with Browne on the show, both Taylor and Ian Ward, the Bascom’s Interim Exhibitions Director, decided that Browne would be a great addition to The Bascom’s full-time staff. Ward, a fine artist by training, will now serve alongside Browne in the position of Exhibitions Designer.  “Together, the Exhibitions Designer and the Exhibitions Curator make up the core of the Exhibitions team,” said Taylor. “Margaret and Ian have very complementary skills and talents and they will put together compelling shows.”

Browne has contributed articles to “Raw Vision” (a London-based magazine on Self-Taught Art/ Outsider Art/ Art Brut), “Conveyer Arts”, a photography and print media magazine, and “Folk Art Messenger”, the quarterly publication of the Folk Art Society of America. She has spoken at the High Museum in Atlanta, GA, where she moderated a 2012 panel discussion on the future of Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden site. The discussion was included in the current documentary film “Paradise Garden: Howard Finster’s Legacy” (Art West Film, 2014). Browne was a keynote speaker at the Madison (GA) Antiques Show & Sale, where she presented the lecture “Elements of Connoisseurship: What Makes a Piece of Late 20th  Century Georgia Folk Art ‘Good,’ ‘Better’ or ‘Best?'” in 2013. She established Chivaree Gallery in Cashiers in the spring of 2012, which features work by Southern artists and artisans.  There, Browne produced a series of shows including new work by Highlands’ Rosemary Stiefel (2014), works in the watercolor medium by Highlands’ Janet Whitehead and Cashiers’ Carroll Rivers (2013), paintings and pastels by Alabama artist Lucy Mitchell (2012) and photography by New Orleans/ Yale MFA artist Elizabeth Bick (2012). She hosted annual Thanksgiving weekend shows with Smithsonian Craft Show artist Aaron Hequembourg, and a lecture/demo in conjunction with the Center for Life Enrichment on historical and contemporary furniture of western North Carolina, which featured curator Sherry Masters and designer/builder Brian Fireman.

“I hope to make contributions to current scholarship in contemporary art, fine craft and folk art through my work at The Bascom,” Browne says, “but I also want all kinds of audience members to connect with the exhibitions here.  The Bascom is in a unique position to reach people who don’t normally visit museums.  We don’t charge admission, we’re in a rural area, and we offer accessible art classes at every level.  We regularly host community-based shows, which attract people who want to see artwork by people they know.  These are the reasons I’m excited to be working here.  The Bascom is so important to the whole region here—it’s been getting some amazing national press lately, and it’s a huge resource for artists and artisans in the area. Places like The Bascom maintain the vitality of artistic life and craft traditions in Southern Appalachia. These things aren’t just nice and interesting—they are part of our economic base.”

Browne holds joint Master’s degrees in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University, and has taught as a graduate instructor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she graduated cum laude in 1997 and earned the Thomas Helde medal in German Public Affairs. She speaks fluent German and holds a certificate in Fine and Decorative Arts Appraisal from Pratt Institute.

For further information call Bonnie Potts at 828/787-2866 or e-mail to (