Bearfootin’ 2024 Bears Make their way to Main Street 

Bearfootin’ 2024 Bears Make their way to Main Street 

View the 2024 Bearfootin' Brochure here!

HENDERSONVILLE, NC – The Friends of Downtown Hendersonville welcome 20 new works of bear art! While the weather didn’t cooperate for the traditional reveal, they are now on Main Street for display starting Thursday, May 9. 

New this year, the Friends of Downtown Hendersonville has partnered with the Blue Ridge Community College Collision Repair Refinishing Technology Department to provide the automotive finishing for the Bears. Their state-of-the-art facility trains students in proper vehicle repair and replacement procedures to bring an automobile back to its pre-accident condition. “Working with Blue Ridge has been an amazing experience” said Terrye Jacobs, Downtown Event Coordinator. “Program instructor, Brian Foster, has been an incredible partner, encouraging community participation from his students in taking care of our bears!  We are excited to build a great partnership with this program and their crew!” 

The bears will remain on Main Street to delight of all who pass by, until the auction in the fall at the Historic Courthouse Plaza. Last year’s auction raised $102,000 for local charities, and the Friends of Downtown Hendersonville hopes to continue the tradition of giving this year. The auction is scheduled for October 26, 2024, with virtual bidding opening in September (stay tuned for more details). 

Additional information about the 2024 Bearfootin’ Art Walk can be found at or by contacting 

About the Bears:

1.) Enchanted Guardian  
Sponsor: Laughing Elephant Yoga  
Artist: Miriam Hughes  
Beneficiary: Safelight   

 "Enchanted Guardian" is a compelling name for a mystical bear adorned in feathers, symbolizing protection. Miriam Hughes, a renowned Hendersonville artist, is known for her vibrant bear paintings and mountain-themed watercolors. Represented by 310 Art Gallery, her work is celebrated worldwide and showcased on her Facebook page (Miriam M Hughes). "Enchanted Guardian" is sponsored by Laughing Elephant Yoga, supporting Safelight, an agency aiding survivors of violence, abuse, or exploitation. This collaboration underscores Miriam's commitment to using art for healing and protection. The name evokes magic, strength, and watchfulness, perfectly capturing the essence of this noble, protective creature.  

2.) Butterflies and Beary Tales  
Sponsor / Beneficiary: Smart Start Partnership for Children  
Artist Name: Jenny L. Camp  

Your local Smart Start has spent more than 25 years finding the best ways to help children in our community succeed using their expertise in our community, early childhood, and what kids and families right here need to thrive. In Butterflies and Beary Tales, artist Jenny Camp portrays butterflies and books to represent how books encourage children to take flight with their imaginations. Reading with our babies helps build strong relationships and gets them ready to succeed in life, too.  Through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, every child in Henderson County can get a free book every month until they turn five!  

3.) Mountain Strong  
Sponsor: Hendersonville Family Dental   
Artists: Diamond Cash  
Beneficiary: Alicia Strong Foundation  

Alicia Baker, radiant with resilience and compassion, catalyzed the establishment of the Alicia Strong Foundation. Devoted to cancer awareness and advocacy, this organization perpetuates her legacy. Alicia's essence resonates in images of her scaling peaks, Toby, her loyal canine companion, steadfast by her side. Her journey, both literal and metaphorical, embodies triumph over life's trials with poise and tenacity. The Alicia Strong Foundation, a testament to her enduring influence, endeavors to alleviate the financial burdens imposed by cancer. Alicia's enduring legacy encourages us to ascend our mountains, whether external or internal, fortified by courage and camaraderie. The mountain strong bear pinpoints Alicia’s favorite color and flowers red Callie Lillie’s also showcasing purple flowers to represent  the awareness of cervical cancer.   

4.) Wylde Spirit  
Sponsor / Beneficiary: Friends of Downtown Hendersonville  
Artist Name: Amy Weinsoff, Diana Levenson  

Wylde Spirit was inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings that Hendersonville has to offer. Created by artists Amy Weinsoff and Diana Levenson, one of their favorite things to do is to be outdoors and hike in the serene beauty of the woods and mountain trails. Last fall they took  photos in the deep woods and that forest experience became the inspiration for Wylde Spirit. Being in nature and enjoying the outdoors promotes happiness, as do the fun events that the Friends of Downtown Hendersonville bring to the community. The Friends of Downtown Hendersonville is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises funds for the well-loved downtown events which include the Rhythm & Brews Summer Concert Series, the Hendersonville Farmers Market, the Holiday Tree Lighting and other holiday events as well as this wonderful event  - the Bearfootin’ Artwalk and Auction.  

5.) Invasion  
Sponsor: Fazio Family  
Artist Name: Sofia Wertenberger, Sophia Croese  
Beneficiary: Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County  

Let me introduce you to "Invasion," the most fabulous kaleidoscopic bear, ready to explore the great unknown. With beautiful constellations adorning its fur, "Invasion" loves to float in the aurora borealis or simply hang out with members of The Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County. This awesome bear was created by two Boys & Girls Club teen members- Sofia Wertenberger (9th grade Hendersonville High School), Sophia Croese (10th grade East Henderson High School), and our club's Teen Art Lead- Abi Gamble. "Invasion" is sponsored by our amazing club founders, Tom & Sue Fazio. We are so grateful to have such creative minds at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County!  

6.) ARTy  
Sponsor: Patsy & John DuPre and Walt Slagel  
Artist Name: Phyllis Vaughn , Mary McCullah  
Beneficiary: The Art League of Henderson County  

ARTy was created through the efforts of artists and art lovers.  Sponsors Walt Slagel and John and Patsy DuPre selected The Art League of Henderson County to benefit from the sale. Its mission is to ensure that every citizen has access to the visual arts by working to create an environment where artistic expression knows no bounds.  The league offers numerous opportunities for individuals to engage, learn, and find artistic inspiration. Phyllis Vaughn and Mary McCullah, the artists whose talent made this bear come to life, have beautifully captured the imagery of Western North Carolina.  Mary expertly painted the essence of ARTy's personality by showing the twinkle in his eye and the happiness in his face. Phyllis skillfully created the whimsical images of nature including hills and fields, trees and flowers, birds and bees.  All things that indeed make ARTy a truly special Western North Carolina bear.  

7.) Galaxy of Hope   
Sponsors: 1-800-BoardUp of Asheville  
Artist: Courtney Hoelscher  
Beneficiary: Only Hope Wnc  

Meet our bear Galaxy of Hope. She likes to share our HOPE and wish for every youth to know they matter and deserve to have a roof over their heads. Galaxy was completed by a High School Art Teacher and Artist, Courtney Hoelscher, who loves teaching art to every youth she comes in contact with. The bear is Sponsored by 1-800-Boardup of Asheville to benefit Only Hope Wnc, Inc., our only local youth homeless and at-risk service agency.  

8.) Standing Tall Together  
Sponsor: Carol & Bruce Radley/Always Best Care Senior Services  
Artist: Natalie Ray  
Beneficiary: Council on Aging for Henderson County  

Standing Tall, Together is a bear visually inspired by the natural beauty of our surroundings but is also a reference to the vision of the Council on Aging for Henderson County: No One Ages Alone.  

Standing Tall, Together was soulfully designed and executed by local watercolor and gold leaf artist Natalie Ray. Natalie’s paintings can be found on display throughout the area, including at the Asheville Gallery of Art.  

This creation would not have been possible without the support of generous sponsors, Carol & Bruce Radley, and Always Best Care Senior Services.  

9.) Honey & Hunter Yanu  
Sponsor: Hunter Auto Group  
Artist Name: Hendersonville NC Rocks  
Beneficiary: American Legion Post #77  

Hunter Auto Group, in partnership with The Hendersonville NC Rock Group, is proud to sponsor Honey & Hunter Yanu, benefiting the American Legion Post #77. We cannot thank our local American Legion Post enough for the work they do and the services that they provide.  Members of the rock group painted this wonderful piece of art in appreciation of our local Veterans. It celebrates art and community while raising funds for those who have served our country.   We are fortunate to have one of the artists as a team member at Hunter Collision Center. At Hunter it's not just about selling cars, but supporting the community that supports us.  

10.) Forever Blue Ridge  
Sponsor: Hendersonville Woman’s Club  
Artist Name: Lynn Genevish  
Beneficiary: Blue Ridge Humane Society  

Meet "Forever Blue Ridge," a bear featuring a lush Blue Ridge Mountain landscape by local artist, Lynn Genevish. Lynn's whimsical landscape artwork is featured in The Art Mob as well as the New Morning Gallery. "Forever Blue Ridge" is sponsored by The Hendersonville Woman's Club, a social and philanthropic organization dedicated to donating time and resources to causes in Henderson County as well as providing social opportunities to its members. This bear was created to benefit the Blue Ridge Humane Society, an animal shelter dedicated to ensuring the highest quality of life for animals in Henderson County and its neighboring communities through adoption, outreach, and education.  

11.) The Creative Horizon  
Sponsor: Samantha Yaeger Goodrum  

Artist Name: Steph Charaska  

Beneficiary: The Vagabond School of the Drama  

Meet "The Creative Horizon," a bear on a mission to inspire you to new creative heights. This bear highlights the grandeur of the Blue Ridge Mountains as a source of inspiration for those who call this area home. Designed and painted by creative visionary Steph Charaska, her passion is fostering the growth and expression of creativity in all forms. "The Creative Horizon" is Steph's first Bear Footin' project and is sponsored by Sam Yaeger Goodrum. The Vagabond School of Drama doing business as Flat Rock Playhouse, is dedicated to providing entertainment, enrichment, and education to the surrounding area with an array of theatrical productions and educational offerings, and will be the recipient of the funds raised by "The Creative Horizon"  

12.) Terra Skye  
Sponsor: United Community Bank  
Artist: Teresa Duncan  
Beneficiary: Interfaith Assistance Ministry (IAM)  

Introducing Terra Skye, a walking tribute to our Blue Ridge Mountains’ majesty. Sunrise to twilight, Terra celebrates the daily rhythm of ethereal beauty that envelops us. Flat Rock artist Teresa Duncan, a native North Carolinian, hopes her fifth bear for IAM will inspire you to be present, to look at what lies below and above: To seize the day as the sun dazzles our dawns with light and warm hues. To find joy as the setting sun signals day’s end, coloring the sky with its fleeting, fiery pallet. Terra Skye is sponsored by United Community Bank,  benefitting IAM crisis assistance. 

13.) Flutter by Bear  
Sponsor / Beneficiary: The Arts Council of Henderson County   
Artist Name: Bethany Joy Adams  

 Meet Flutterby Bear, a whimsical design that captures the essence of serenity and beauty, painted by the local artist Bethany Joy Adams. Flutterby Bear is Bethany's 7th bear. Bethany creates joyful art for joy-filled lives and has a book publishing next month!  This joyful bear, adorned with butterflies and hot air balloons, symbolizes the boundless possibilities of the imagination. Flutterby Bear is a proud project of the Arts Council of Henderson County, which promotes, supports and advocates for the arts and cultural enrichment in our community. Support Flutterby Bear and champion the transformative power of the arts in our lives.  

14.) Hortense
Sponsor: Dennis & Victoria Flanagan  
Artist: Callie Rachel Vera  
Beneficiary: Blue Ridge Community College Horticulture Program  

A beautiful representation of the cultural heritage that is horticulture in Western North Carolina.   The French feminine given name, “Hortense” comes from the Latin meaning “gardener.”  Designed and painted by Rachel Vera, adjunct instructor with Blue Ridge Community College, Hortense pays tribute to the various agricultural techniques, passed down through generations, preserving connection and stewardship to the land.  Hortense was generously sponsored by Dennis and Victoria Flanagan, who are passionate advocates of the Blue Ridge Community College Horticulture program.  Together, Blue Ridge and the Flanagan’s desire to uplift horticulture and farming to ensure the next generation of farmers have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful for many generations to come.  

15.) Out of the Blue
Sponsor: Art on 7th
Artist Name: AnnMarie LeBlanc
Beneficiary: Anna’s Hope of Community Foundation of Henderson County  

“Out of the Blue” was painted by local artist, AnnMarie LeBlanc, whose work is inspired by the earth, sea, and sky, and the natural landscapes surrounding us in Western North Carolina. Proceeds will go to Anna’s Hope, a fund of The Community Foundation of Henderson County. Anna’s Hope was founded in memory of Anna Huneycutt, who died in 2010 at the age of 20, from an accidental overdose. The mission of Anna’s Hope Fund is to educate, raise awareness, and address issues that cause addiction, believing that communities can work to together to prevent tragic results. The sponsor of “Out of the Blue” is Art on 7th, whose owners know firsthand of the devastation these tragic results cause.  

16.) Buzzter Sobear
Sponsor: Hope Coalition Board Members
Artist: Alicia Eddy  
Beneficiary: Hope Coalition  

Get ready to bear witness to the cutest caper in town – Buzzter So-Bear, the honey-loving sensation crafted by our very own talented and local artist, Alicia Eddy! With bees buzzing around and a stolen honeycomb in paw, Buzzter is the bee's knees! This cheeky chap isn't just here to steal hearts (or honey); he's supporting Hope Coalition’s mission of preventing substance misuse and providing recovery resources! Bee ready because every bid on Buzzter So-Bear is a sweet contribution to a great cause! Join us in spreading smiles and raising funds with Buzzter So-Bear. Who knew doing good could be this 'un-bear-lievably' sweet?  

17.)BB the Blessing Bear
Sponsors / Beneficiary: Henderson County Habitat for Humanity
Artist: June Ellen Bradley  

B.B.(aka Blessing Bear) is beckoning us to be the change in our community that we want to see. The artist June Ellen Bradley evokes the natural connection to kindle compassion because all need food, water, shelter, and a safe place to live. Habitat for Humanity recognizes that affordable housing empowers families to achieve strength, stability, and self-reliance while building strong and stable communities filled with hope. Here's to joining together to build a brighter tomorrow for all.  

Sponsor: BMW of Asheville  
Artist Name: Laura Bell 
Beneficiary: United Way of Henderson County  

Aila (eye-luh) is an ancient name from Europe and Asia. Depending on its place of origin, it can mean "from the strong place", "noble", "oak tree" or "bringer of light". Aila's multicolor undercoat radiates through rich black fur with shades of magenta, purple, blue., green, red and orange. This brave and brilliant bear is a reminder of our strength when we come together. United way believes in our collective power to creat positive change in our community. Together, we can bring light to people living in dark places. Aila is a noble bear calling us to care for those around us.  

19.)Beary Garcia
Sponsor: Grateful Mindset Properties 
Artist Name: Judy Dempsey, Judi Moolten, London Orzolek 
Beneficiary: Homes for Youth  

Beary Garcia is a joyful bear featuring the night sky, sun, moon and various flowers, but most importantly sparkles. He was created with the love of whimsey, art and family fun in mind. Lake Lure based artist Judi Dempsey - with the assistance of a local mother/daughter team- came together to create the bear. Beary "Sparkles" Garcia is sponsored by Grateful Mindset Properties, a boutique realty firm located here in Hendersonville, NC. All proceeds from the auction will go to Homes for Youth, a non-profit offering the only full-time foster care parents program in the local area.  

Sponsor / Beneficiary: The Hope Center of Hendersonville  
Artist: Becky Bonnema  

The Hope Bear has just arrived with a flutter of fantastic friends. Hope is a glowing collaboration between artist Becky Bonnema and members of The Hope Center of Hendersonville. Becky assisted the members with painting each butterfly and then skillfully added Hope’s glow and details. Becky is a local artist who loves creating abstract art and working with individuals with disabilities of all ages. This is Becky’s second Bear Footin’ project. The Hope Bear is sponsored by The Hope Center of Hendersonville, a nonprofit program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

The Friends of Downtown Hendersonville is a 501c3 organization focusing on the vibrancy of downtown Hendersonville's Main Street and 7th Avenue Districts. The Friends produce the Hendersonville Farmers Market, Rhythm & Brews, Bearfootin’ Artwalk & Auction, Garden Jubilee, holiday events and more of your favorite downtown activities. Find out how to get involved at!