WORKING CLASS HERO: Appalachian native, storied balladeer and labor organizer Ella May Wiggins played a central role in the Loray Mill strike of 1929. Her life, legacy and untimely murder is examined in a new book authored by her great-granddaughter, Haw Creek Elementary teacher Kristina Horton. Image courtesy of Kristina Horton.

Working Class Hero: a Q&A with author Kristina Horton on “The Martyr of Loray Mill”

In July 2015, Kristina Horton — great-granddaughter of famed labor activist Ella May Wiggins — published Martyr of Loray Mill, a biography of her forebear. Xpress spoke with Horton ahead of her reading at Malaprop’s on Sunday, Jan. 17, to discuss Wiggins’ life, the meaning of her struggles and why it remains important to remember Ella May’s sacrifice.

Sunrise on Grandfather Mountain

Holiday events roundup for 12/23 through 12/31

ART/CRAFT FAIRS Caldwell Arts Council 601 College Ave. SW, Lenoir, 754-2486 • Through WE (12/23) – “Satie’s Holiday Sale,” 75 crafters and artists exhibiting. Mon.-Fri.: 9am-6pm. Sat.: 10am-3pm. Free to attend. BENEFITS Dancing, Drums, and Dreams Benefit AshevilleRhythm.org • TH (12/31), 8:30pm – Tickets to this New Year’s Eve celebration with music by Free Planet Radio and Kevin Spears benefit […]

Center for Art & Spirit at St. George Labyrinth

Holiday Events Roundup for 12/16 through 12/24

ART/CRAFT FAIRS Caldwell Arts Council 601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, 754-2486 • Through WE (12/23) – “Satie’s Holiday Sale,” 75 crafters and artists exhibiting. Mon.-Fri.: 9am-6pm. Sat.: 10am-3pm. Free to attend. Holiday Craft Bazaar ashevillemusichall.com • SA (12/19), noon-6pm – Local art and craft vendors with live music. Free to attend. Held at One Stop Deli & Bar, […]

XMAS SPIRIT: Local nonprofit Madison Has Heart will sell off hundreds of collectible holiday decorations and figurines on Saturday, Dec. 5 during its Christmas sale. Proceeds go towards supporting the organization in its efforts to provide heating assistance for Madison County residents. Image courtesy of Madison Has Heart.

Deck the halls: Madison Has Heart holds Dec. 5 Christmas sale of vintage collectibl­es at historic Walnut church

Wintertime in the mountains, with its temperature variances and extreme weather conditions, can be a harsh season for residents of western North Carolina. For those with limited financial means living in isolated areas of the region, the cost of simply heating one’s home can be difficult to manage. To help support those in need of […]

ILLUSTRATING INSURRECTION: Artist Phil Blank will shwcase several illustrations from the book Dixie Be Damned at an exhibit at Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Image courtesy of Phil Blank.

Of the people, for the people: artist Phil Blank exhibits illustrati­ons from Dixie Be Damned

Inspired by Authors/activists Neal Shirley and Saralee Stafford’s book Dixie Be Damned, artist Phil Blank has created stunning visual representations of the hard-fought, often violent struggles of the disenfranchised throughout Southern history, from the coalfields of Tennessee to the anti-KKK partisan groups that roamed Robeson County, N.C., during Reconstruction.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Purl's Yarn Emporium yarn-bombed Wall Street, taking on the Flat Iron sculpture and even the trees. Photo by Hayley Benton

Flat Iron sculpture gets a sweater

The stealthy stitchers of Purl’s Yarn Emporium are at it again. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Wall Street was transformed with knit and crochet creations. As with their installations last spring and fall, the stitchers will be adorning many fixtures along the quaint street. This fall, however, they have added a much larger target to their yarn-bombing: the Flat Iron sculpture.