The primary Yadkin Cultural Arts Center building on East Main Street was constructed the mid-20th century for the Adams Motor Company; Dodge and Plymouth automobiles were actually displayed in the showroom in the front of the building! Currently, the front of the building houses the Third Branch Café and classroom facilities. The Adam’s parts department was once located in the back of the building, now home to the 193-seat Willingham Theater. The building was the first in downtown Yadkinville to have steel arches supporting the roof. These arches are still visible in the exposed ceiling of the Third Branch Café and the Wellborn Gallery.
In those days, East Main Street was still US Hwy 421, main artery 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.
After its days as a dealership. The building was repurposed 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 arts and education 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. Comfortable and cozy, dramatic and daring, it anchors itself in tradition using reclaimed barnwood walls and floor and a classic kunzite hut design while reaching toward the future with its soaring steel beams and glass panel tower. In this way, the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center remains tied to the past and future of Yadkin County.
The creator of our courtyard sculpture, Aiming for the Mark by Heloise Christa, lived and studied at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West. It is a modern interpretation of the classical Greco-Roman style and attempts to fuse the old and the new in both art and life.