The Yadkin Cultural Arts Center building on East Main Street was constructed in the middle of the 20th century for the Adams Motor Company where Dodge and Plymouth automobiles were displayed in the showroom in the front of the building. Currently the front of the building houses the Third Branch Café and classrooms. The Adam’s parts department was in the back of the building, which is now home to the Willingham Theater. The building was the first in downtown Yadkinville to have steel arches supporting the roof. The arches are visible in the exposed ceiling of the Third Branch Café and in the Wellborn Gallery.
In those days, East Main Street was a main artery, US Hwy 421, from Greensboro to Boone. But in the late 60’s the new US Highway 421 was constructed 2 miles West of Main Street and Adams Motor moved to Winston-Salem.
The building went through various incarnations after starting out as a car dealership. It was used as a Roller Rink, a marble kitchen and bath fixture manufacturing facility and Whiff’s Barbecue Restaurant. The current artist studios in the YARD were originally concrete bays for washing cars.
In 2002 the Yadkin Arts Council acquired the 10,000 square foot building and President of the Board John Willingham envisioned a potential home for the arts in Yadkin County. The building was completely gutted and renovated in two phases in 2010 and 2012.
The architectural magnificence of the Welborn Gallery captures the true essence of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center. It speaks to the old with its barn wood walls and floor, and its classic kunzite hut design. At the same time, it embraces the new with its soaring steel beams and glass panel tower. This uniqueness speaks to the past and the future of Yadkin County. It is comfortable and cozy while being dramatic and daring.
The courtyard sculpture Aiming for the Mark by Heloise Christa who lived and studied at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West is a modern interpretation of the classical Greco-Roman style, and speaks to the fusion of the old and the new in both art and life.