Morganton October 14, 2022

Burke County Arts Council

What is Burke County Arts Council?

Burke’s Art council Promotes the cultural arts in Burke County and features art exhibits and local arts and crafts sales.

BURKE ARTS COUNCIL – The mission of the Burke Arts Council is to enrich the quality of life in Burke County through cultural and artistic activities. They seek to coordinate arts activities in the community, serve as an informational and resource center for the arts and to promote local artists and arts organizations.

If you’re newer to town, you may be wondering what in the world all this talk about the new Arts Council building is.

Burke County’s Arts Council used to be located at the square in the old jail house building, but they are now relocating to the old Burke Farm Supply building, which is pictured below.

Burke Farm Supply building

Burke Farm Supply Building.

The Burke Arts Council is currently under construction and actively restoring the former Farm Supply building in downtown Morganton (pictured to the right). They are not only renovating the inside but the outside too! You can see in the picture below, the mural, that is being painted on the side of their building. The mural is being painted by Gabriel Eng-Goetz. Gabriel has been selected by the Burke Arts Council to create a large-scale mural on the northwest side of their new building in downtown Morganton, NC.





Burke Arts Council

Burke County Arts Council


Gabriel Eng-Goetz on his vision for Burke Art Council’s mural: “After 6 weeks of community engagement, research and contemplation, I made a concerted effort to speak to all demographics, especially those of historically marginalized status. The overwhelming response was the request for nature themed imagery, however the themes of history, storytelling, and diversity all gained strong interest as well. My design direction was informed by community feedback/research and speak on my intentions for the mural”.

Gabriel is creating a beautiful mural that will reflect our vibrant, diverse community. Although not yet completed it will be eye catching and will be so beautiful!

Food Matters Mural

Food Matters Mural

Burke County Arts Council also helped support the Mural at Food Matters. This project was supported by N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Huffman Cornwell Foundation, and the Morganton Mainstreet Office, The Industrial Commons, and Good Books LLC. “This particular mural is important because Morganton is well poised to become a community leader in the rural South. We must invest in inclusive public art to understand where we have been, our present realities, celebrate our diverse region and citizenry, and encourage generative thinking and civic engagement from all our citizenry to promote our collective futures.” This mural was created by Alexa Eliana Chumpitaz, a Latinx, full-time, visual artist based in Raleigh, North Carolina. To this date, she has completed two collaborative art installations that have been featured throughout the east coast of the United States and 13 murals, ten of which celebrate Latinx culture.

Burke Arts Council offers our community so many things.


Once the renovation is completed on the new building for Burke Arts Council, I am sure they will offer more classes.  In the past they have offered creative writing classes, stained glass classes, even fused glass classes, and so much more. If you are creative, you would 100,000,000% benefit from getting a membership and taking some of the classes that are offered.


Burke Arts Council has several different grants for local artists! I think most of them are past the deadline, but it’s a great time to make yourself aware of the grants and see if this is something you could be eligible for next year.
Artist Support Grants 2022-23 – Burke Arts Council

This grant, operated by local arts councils, will fund professional and artistic development for emerging or established artists to create work, improve business operations, or bring work to new audiences. Grants will range from $500 to $3,000.

Grants for Organizations – Burke Arts Council

This grant is for non-profit organizations whose purpose is to promote and develop diverse cultural arts programming in Burke County.  Funding priority is given to qualified arts organizations arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists, and other community organizations that provide arts programs in the county.  Grassroots funds are not generally awarded to arts organizations that receive funding through the North Carolina Arts Council’s State Arts Resources.

They are also seeking artists for gallery exhibitions and artist sales gallery. Seeking Artists for Gallery Exhibitions and Artist Sales Gallery – Burke Arts Council


Burke Arts Council puts on many events throughout the year.

They have hosted the October Oyster Outing – Burke Arts Council. This event is the “biggest and best fundraising event and a local favorite”. They have also put on many other events.

One event is when the Plein Air Painters get together in a group and paint. This group is led by local pastel artist Jane Best. Plein air (the French expression meaning, “in the open air”) painting, goes back centuries, but was made into an art form by French Impressionists. The group is comprised of all skill levels and mediums. They move around to picturesque locations in Burke County and beyond. The only prerequisites are interest in painting or drawing and enjoying the outdoors! Those who would like to participate should bring art gear, drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, a wide brim hat, bug spray, rain gear, stool or folding chair, trash bag and camera/phone. Bathrooms are available. You must be a member of the art council to join in on these meetings.

You can read more about the painting group in the article from the News Herald
You can read about the other events that Burke Arts Council puts on: Events – Burke Arts Council

Become a member!

The Burke Arts Council works to enrich the quality of life in our community and your tax-deductible donation helps them to accomplish the goals of their mission. They are extremely proud of the work being done at the Arts Council and they acknowledge that none of it would be possible without the support of our community.

Benefits of membership include:

  • Member pricing for all classes, workshops, and film events.
  • Invitations to member-only opening receptions for exhibitions and other events.
  • Recognition in our newsletter.

To learn more about the memberships you can go to Membership – Burke Arts Council.

You can go to Burke Arts Council – Promoting the Arts in Burke County, North Carolina to learn more about Burke Arts Council and all the awesome things that they offer our community!


Pictures provided by Ashley Scott with ANS Photography