There are lots of perks about living on this side of the mountains, killer views around the corner of every trail, friendly folks always waiving as they pass by, and a wide array of outdoor activities awaiting in your own backyard but WCU graduate Lesley Fries decided there was still something missing-art. In September 2007, Fries joined with Kevin Kirkpatrick Kevin Dunn and Greg McPherson to open NOW Gallery located at 540 East Main Street in downtown Sylva. “The kind of art we want to feature isn’t easy to find in this area- its fine, contemporary, avant-garde,” said Fries. Eventually, she would like to offer classes and studio space at the gallery. Both Fries and Dunn are graduates of Western Carolina University and Kirkpatrick teaches for the Art and Design Department at Western. “Its worth it for me to provide this space for the community. Hopefully this is a place that can open people up,” Fries said. NOW Gallery will feature works from master printmaker, artist, and innovator Dan Weldon from November 19 thru December 8. Weldon has had over 50 international, solo exhibitions of his own and printed for Esteban Vincente, Eric Fischl and David Salle. He also invented a method for non-toxic printmaking called the solar plate method. Instead of using acids, the solar plate method uses sunlight for etching. The artist will hold a discussion at the closing reception at 6pm on December 8. NOW Gallery hasn’t set up specific operating hours but is usually open during weekday lunch hours and weekend nights.