Hot Springs art gallery / community space celebrates grand opening

HOT SPRINGS – Mars Hill welcomed an art gallery in September 2021, and now Hot Springs has one, too.

Gallery 339, located in the old Biker Depot building on the bypass, hosted its grand opening ceremony April 16, according to owner Terry Thirion.

“It’s exciting, but it’s also scary because I’m asking, ‘What do I do? What is my best way of going about doing this? What do people want? How do I attract people to come here?'” Said Thirion. “We just have to see what comes up. I trust that something good comes out of this.”

Thirion, originally from Belgium, has owned a home on the Laurel River in Hot Springs for 25 years with her husband, Bob Fitzpatrick. The couple permanently moved to Madison County from Charlotte last May.

The gallery currently features three artists – Thirion, Jennifer Boylan and Swannanoa resident Elaine Lacy.

Elaine Lacy is one of three artists featured at Gallery 339 in Hot Springs, which hosted its grand opening April 16.

Thirion calls herself an “experimental painter,” as she employs impressionist, abstract expressionist and even mixed media styles in her work.

The owner said some of her favorite subjects include frogs, birds and moths.

“I see birds everywhere,” Thirion said. “Butterflies and moths, they’re easily moving. The birds, too. They just can join us when we’re in pain.”

Lacy takes a lot of her inspiration from nature, too, she said.

“My love for ceramic art derives from the deep joy I feel when touching the earth and observing some of its most beautiful features, especially trees, birds and flowers,” she said in her artist statement on her website. “Creating a piece of art from soft clay acts as a form of meditation and a way of expressing gratitude for the profound beauty that surrounds me.

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