A New Fireplace for the Old Grist Mill

703
Mr. Lynn Keene of Russell County, VA (left) and Mrs. Cathy Payne of Bluefield, VA (right) with Mr. Johnny Hagerman, brick sculptor (center), presenting specially carved, handmade, and numbered brick carvings.
Mr. Lynn Keene of Russell County, VA (left) and Mrs. Cathy Payne of Bluefield, VA (right) with Mr. Johnny Hagerman, brick sculptor (center), presenting specially carved, handmade, and numbered brick carvings.

CEDAR BLUFF, VA — Johnny Hagerman, award-winning brick sculptor, has another project planned for Southwest Virginia Community College – this time at the Old Grist Mill in Cedar Bluff. The Mill was purchased by the SWCC Educational Foundation in 2020 and is now the home of the Appalachian Arts & Events Center. The center serves as a place for local and regional artisans and craftspeople to display and sell their work as well as an event venue for weddings, reunions, parties, and meetings. The plan places the large fireplace on an exterior wall of the Mill which will provide an outdoor venue for special events with views of the nearby river. The fireplace design is deeply rooted in Appalachia, from the thimble-shaped chimney to the custom blockwork you will find themes of Appalachian Quilting and references to local wildlife such as flying geese and bear paws. Mr. Hagerman has estimated that the project will cost around $100,000. He has partnered with the SWCC Educational Foundation to find a “baker’s dozen” of hearty Appalachians to donate and become a part of this project.

The first three of the “baker’s dozen” Mrs. Cathy Payne of Bluefield, VA and Mr. Lynn Keene of Russell County, VA (photo below) recently made their commitments to the project. As a thank you, they received a specially carved, handmade, and numbered brick carving from Johnny Hagerman. Three other donors have also expressed interest in the project. For more information, please contact Susan Lowe at susan.lowe@sw.edu or 276.964.7304.

Mr. Lynn Keene of Russell County, VA (left) and Mrs. Cathy Payne of Bluefield, VA (right) with Mr. Johnny Hagerman, brick sculptor (center), presenting specially carved, handmade, and numbered brick carvings.
Artist’s rendering of what the fireplace and stage would look like on the side of the Old Grist Mill.