Join Brian O'Hara, president of the N.C. Offshore Wind Coalition, for a discussion of offshore wind energy and economic development at the WNC Sierra Club's meeting on Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. Held at the Asheville Unitarian Church, on the corner of Charlotte Street and Edwin Place. Info: nc.sierraclub.org/wenoca or 251-8289.
The public is invited to an auction of student and instructor work at the Penland School of Crafts, 67 Dora's Trail in Penland, on Thursday, May 5 at 8 p.m. The auctions serve as "culminating celebrations of the work done in classes." Info: penland.org or 765-2359.
Enjoy the warmth of spring in some of WNC's most beautiful spaces on Friday, May 6 as The Botanical Gardens at Asheville, the gardens at Blue Ridge Community College and the N.C. Arboretum offer free admission in celebration of National Public Gardens Day. Info: nationalpublicgardensday.org.
Have a good time and help a good cause on Saturday, May 7 at the Hard Hats and High Heels Pub Strut, held in West Asheville to benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. The event begins at Tolliver's Crossing at 6 p.m. and ends with a free concert, featuring Jenna Lindbo, Kate McNally and Hannah Levin, at Altamont Brewing Company. Info: ashevillehabitat.org/news_events/AAHH_events.
Watercolors bring to mind broad swaths of color, but what if every shade was a deep rich brown? Artist Steven Mikel will demonstrate painting with coffee on Sunday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held at the Grand Bohemian Gallery, 11 Boston Way, Asheville. Info: 398-5555 or grandbohemiangallery.com.
Penguins and tractors may live on different continents, but they will come together at Buncombe County libraries this May. The Dollywood Penguin Players will present Otis, a production about a happy-go-lucky tractor. A performance will take place at the Fairview Library, 1 Taylor Road, on Monday, May 9 at 2 p.m., with additional performances at various area libraries. Info: 250-4720.
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy presents a plant ecology hike at the edge of Pisgah National Forest on Tuesday, May 10 at 10 a.m. $10 for nonmembers. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-0095, ext. 205