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New River State Park

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts - Takes Art to the Banks of the New River - May 5 – May 7, 2017, New River State Park, 221 Access
The art exhibitions at the Turchin Center are typically situated inside the walls of the visual arts center on King Street, or around the campus of Appalachian State University.  Inspired by the New River and the “Collective Vigilance: Speaking for the New River” exhibition, currently on display at the Turchin Center, friends of the river and the arts are invited outdoors to the New River State Park, 221 Access, in Ashe County, to celebrate the river, experience the park and relax with friends.

Event Schedule

  • “Site-Specific Installation by Keith Bryant”

Available for viewing: Friday May 5 at 5 p.m. to Sunday May 7 at 10:00 a.m.
Artist Presentation: Saturday May 6 at 4:30 p.m.
The banks of the New River are typically lined with natural stones, boulders, and vegetation. The river will be transformed when Charlotte sculptor, Keith Bryant installs 365 colorful ceramic globes along the banks of the river during this temporary site-specific art installation. There is a sphere for
each day of the year and each globe is unique. According to Bryant, “The ceramic spheres that I call peas, are about abundance, a meditation on the gift of each day.”

  • New River Water Analysis

Saturday May 6, 10:30 a.m.
Alex McMahon, Water Quality Coordinator from the New River Conservancy, will conduct a water analysis. This program will begin at the Group Camp Canoe Access.

  • New River Aquatic Sampling

Saturday May 6, 1:30 p.m.

A park ranger will lead a hands-on search for aquatic insects in the New River. The rangers will introduce “citizen science” to calculate the health the river based on how many insects are found.  Participants should wear sturdy shoes and come prepared to get wet.  This program will begin at the Group Camp Canoe Access.
Visit for detailed information on the weekend.

*Please contact New River State Park at 336-982-2587 for park information.*


A view of the river at New River State Park

Map of North Carolina


Contact the park




U.S. 221 access
and visitor center

358 New River State Park Road
Laurel Springs, NC 28644

GPS: 36.46768, -81.34035


Wagoner access

1447 Wagoner Access Road
Jefferson, NC 28640

GPS: 36.415808, -81.387174


Kings Creek access

2250 Kings Creek Road
Piney Creek, NC 28663

GPS: 36.527628, -81.336359


Elk Shoals access

349 Methodist Camp Road
West Jefferson, NC 28694

GPS: 36.365324, -81.433277



  • December to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Monday to Friday:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday to Sunday:
    10:00am to 3:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Closed November 1 to March 31
  • April:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
  • May to September:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
  • October:
    8:00am to 8:00pm

The swim beach at Elk Shoals access is open from sunrise to sunset year-round.