Around town: New gallery launches in Mars Hill

PASSIONATE PURSUIT: Mars Hill resident Miryam Rojas recently opened Mars Landing Galleries. She hopes to inspire a welcoming space for the town's local arts community. Photo by Cayla Clark

Miryam Rojas arrived in Western North Carolina in 2019, after spending nearly 20 years working in film and television in Miami. Disillusioned by the industry, she decided to pursue a lifelong dream: opening an art gallery. After nearly a year of construction, Rojas saw her vision become a reality on July 10, with the launch of Mars Landing Galleries in Mars Hill.

“I’ve always wanted to open a space for local artists and artists who might otherwise be underrepresented,” she says.

The new space, at 37 Library St., currently features works from 14 painters, photographers, ceramicists and jewelry makers, though it has room to house up to 45 creatives. “I’ve been working toward curating a collection of artists representing all mediums,” Rojas says.

In addition to a series of small exhibits, the gallery is home to three studios of 200 square feet each, a demonstration area and the headquarters of Meadowsweet Creamery, a local, artisanal creamery specializing in scratch-made ice cream sandwiches.

Plans for Mars Landing, notes Rojas, include extended hours on the first Friday of every month. Otherwise, the gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

“My goal is to have this be a welcoming communal space for art lovers, collectors and community members alike,” Rojas says. “In areas like this, there are so many talented artists who will never gain notoriety simply because they lack opportunity and space.”

Learn more about the gallery at

Back in action

North Carolina-based jazz/soul musician Yolanda Rabun will take the stage before a live audience at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, July 17, at 8 p.m., after a prolonged, COVID-induced hiatus. Though her band continued to perform virtual concerts throughout the pandemic, she says the format was limiting. “The element of moving with the flow of the room was missed,” she says. “That human element of audience laughter and emotion was something I realized is pretty important.”

Thrilled “to get back to the two-way dialogue between the audience and the stage,” Rabun says she plans to perform both originals and classics “that will relate and allow folks to reflect or take action in this wonderful life we all get to live.”

The Wortham Center is at 18 Biltmore Ave. Tickets are $42. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Buncombe County Schools’ choral programs. Learn more at

Rhythm & Brews

First launched in 2013 by nonprofit Friends of Downtown Hendersonville, the Rhythm & Brews concert series returns to Main Street for a summer of free, live music and craft beer. Thursday, July 15, marks the first show of the season. Asheville-based rock group the Andrew Thelston Band will open the evening with a 5:30 performance. The event’s headlining act is fellow local rockers Abby Bryant & The Echoes, who take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Beer, wine and hard cider will be available for purchase, and the event will feature kid-friendly activities. Future acts include country group Mike and the Moonpies, based in Austin, Texas, and Asheville-based groups Hustle Souls (Americana) and The Broadcast (psychedelic soul), among others.

More information and a full list of headliners can be found at

Shindigging since ’67

The 55th season of the Folk Heritage Committee’s Shindig on the Green kicked off July 10 and continues into August. Locals and visitors alike are invited to tote their lawn chairs to Pack Square Park, where they can partake in a medley of live local bluegrass, string bands, storytellers, dancers and more. The committee produces the annual event to honor and preserve the traditional musical heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Festivities take place 7-10 p.m. every Saturday in July, plus Aug. 14 and 21, and are free to the public. Learn more at

What’s the word?

The Writers’ Workshop, an Asheville-based nonprofit, will host a series of summer workshops through early September. Two upcoming classes — Fiction Workshop on Saturday, July 17, and Writing for Young Readers on Saturday, July 24 — will be held in person with Executive Director Karen Ackerson. The workshops run 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and are $80 each ($75 for members).

The Writers’ Workshop is at 387 Beaucatcher Road. Register at


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