IMG_0215 v2.jpeg

HOT SPRINGS — Dressed in period clothing with sketchbooks in hand, two intrepid artists are following in the footsteps and brushstrokes of early American landscape artists — with five stops in Hot Springs between May 14-17.

The artists are traveling through WNC by horseback, foot and boat, stopping at 12 original vantage points depicted by artist Harry Fenn in 1870. The 80-mile journey from Chimney Rock to Del Rio, Tennessee, follows the historic Buncombe Turnpike/Drovers Road.

The public is welcome to meet them and see them work along the way, with five stops in Hot Springs over four days — most of which require some hiking to reach.

The undertaking is by Preserving a Picturesque America, which strives to protect natural and historic places through the power of the arts. The goal is to eventually recreate all 1,000 vantage points used by the original 1800s artists from the publication Picturesque America — tackling different regions at a time.

They are now focusing on the 12 engravings that featured scenes mostly along the French Broad River in WNC.

Artists from WNC and eastern Tennessee have been contributing to the initiative over the past few years. An exhibition and art sale of their work will be held in the fall, with proceeds going toward land conservation and the French Broad River.

To raise awareness for the exhibition and art sale, Preserving a Picturesque America Founder Scott Varn Varn, along with local artist and writer Mike Wurman, decided to retrace the Harry Fenn’s journey in its entirety.

Here’s where you can catch them in the Hot Springs area:

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 14: Lover’s Leap Views

• 10 a.m.-noon May 15: “Ferry on the French Broad”

• 1-3 p.m. May 15: “Scene on the French Broad”

• 2-5 p.m. May 16: “Paint Rock” & “French Broad”

• 9:30 a.m.-noon: “The Smoky Mountains” along Paint Rock Trail in Hot Springs

For more precise location information, contact sam@preservationthroughart.org or call 828-273-5383.