Woodson Branch Nature School to hold open house


Press release from Woodson Branch Nature School:

MARSHALL, N.C. — Woodson Branch Nature School announces that it will hold on Open House on April 7 on its 30-acre farm, featuring the dedication of an on-site community art installation by Josh Copus.

The Open House will run from 2-8 p.m. in Marshall, N.C., offering outdoor fun — exploring the Woodson Branch Nature School farm, learning about and experiencing some of the school’s innovative nature-based curriculum — paired with an art opening-type of event late that day.

“We are excited to share our amazing school and its farm environment with the community, the art world, and anyone interested in seeing experiential learning in action. The dedication of the chimney, built from bricks made by members of and visitors to the town of Marshall, NC, as a part of Josh’s project, is a great example of the role art can play in the community and education,” said Debbie DeLisle, head of Woodson Branch Nature School, and executive director of its nonprofit parent, Madison County Community Learning Centers.

Visitors to the free event will be invited to enjoy creative efforts in which Woodson Branch students have been involved, and learn about the wide range of subjects offered that “nurture the whole person.”  Participating in outside activities on the farm and in the forest, where much of the school’s teaching take place, will provide something for everyone as they go on a scavenger hunt, visit with farm animals, explore student exhibits, purchase delicious food during the later afternoon hours against a soundscape of local music. The brick factory that Copus used to make the bricks for the art project will be in operation during the event, allowing guests to inscribe their own hand-formed bricks. At 6 p.m. guests will witness the dedication of the Chimney. There will be a raffle to raise money for the school, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

According to DeLisle, “Many people have heard of our school, but not had the pleasure of experiencing its wonder. What a great opportunity for us to have been selected as a home for the chimney before it is moved to its permanent site in downtown Marshall. It is truly a testament to the power of art in education – and nature – to bring people together.”

About Woodson Branch Nature School

Woodson Branch Nature School, in Marshall, N.C. is an independent nature-based farm, art and forest school for Kindergarten through 8th grade. Founded and operated by Madison County Community Learning Centers, a 501(c)(3) organization, Woodson Branch, is situated on a 30-acre farm in Marshall, NC, and offers an innovative experiential learning environment to students in Western North Carolina. Designed to promote an ethic of personal, social and environmental stewardship, the hands-on Woodson Branch curriculum includes English language arts, math, science, history, the humanities, and physical education, and non-traditional subjects such as food preparation, agriculture and horticulture, animal care, forest time, art and handwork, conflict resolution, financial management fundamentals, and mindfulness and daily reflections practices. Follow Woodson Branch Nature School on Facebook for further event details.

About Josh Copus

Josh Copus is an Appalachian ceramic artist specializing in wood fire pottery and social practice projects. He began his career at 16 in the mountains of Floyd, Virginia, where he grew up, working in a local family pottery business His work has grown and changed over time, but retains its focus on the melding of old and new Appalachia. His sculptural ceramic vessels take him around the world through strong partnerships with museums and galleries, including Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville, Signature Gallery in Atlanta, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, Watershed Ceramics, and the University of West Virginia. For the past 20 years, he has lived and worked in the Asheville, North Carolina area. For more information, visit, joshcopus.com.

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