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Art @ the Center: The Legacy of Hickory Nut Gap Farm

This summer, the Center is proud to feature “Useful Work,” a remarkable collection of photographs from Sherrill’s Inn and Hickory Nut Gap Farm by photographer Ken Abbott. Located in Fairview, North Carolina, the farm and inn were purchased in 1916 by Jim and Elizabeth McClure, a newlywed couple down from Illinois on their honeymoon. Jim and Elizabeth helped found the Farmers Federation, a cooperative organization to bring better agriculture to western North Carolina. Since then, the farm has been managed and worked by five generations of the family (which now includes Agers, Hamiltons, Clarkes, and others), producing grassfed beef, pastured pork and poultry, and organic apples, blackberries, raspberries, and asparagus. Family members also run an art, drama, and horseback riding camp during the summer, as well as Flying Cloud Farm, a nearby organic fruit, flower, and vegetable farm.

We celebrated Hickory Nut Gap Farm and the farm families with an artist’s reception on Friday, May 30th at 5:30 pm, but you can still drop by the Center to view the photographs and to hear oral histories from SOHP‘s “Mountain Voices” collection. You can also listen to audio clips from interviews of North Carolina farmers and community organizers here.

This exhibit was made possible by a generous gift from Tom Kenan, a dear friend of the Clarke family who spent many memorable days and nights at Hickory Nut Gap Farm.