Published in 1929 at Asheville-Biltmore College (UNCA’s predecessor) under the name of Bluets, the campus arts magazine was established by Mrs. Virginia Bryan Schreiber. Under her direction, Bluets began its long history of outstanding awards in the annual Columbia Scholastic Press Association contests at Columbia University.
Competing at first with four-year colleges and after 1937 with junior colleges, when the junior college division was established, the magazine won first place and medallist awards eleven times from 1933 through 1946.
For one year, 1946-47, Mrs. Kathleen Godwin Cole directed the publication of the magazine, and from 1947 through 1963, Mrs. Lutrelle Wishart directed its publication. The magazine continued to win awards and from 1948 through 1962 again won first place or medallist eleven times, in competition with other junior colleges from across the country.
During the 35 years published under the name of Bluets, the magazine featured short stories, poetry, and articles of local interest, based on interviews with Asheville’s literary figures, craftsmen of the area, and other noted residents. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mrs. William Sydney Porter (O Henry’s wife), Mrs. Olive T Dargan, Mrs. Mable Wolfe Wheaton (Tom Wolfe’s sister), and Frances L. Goodrich (founder of Allanstand) were all interviewed.
The creative arts magazine experienced a changing of the guard in 1964, undergoing a metamorphosis into Images, the name it kept through 1978. While “Bluets” was strictly a literary journal, Images progressed into magazine format and included both literary work and pieces of art. This tradition continued throughout the publication run of the magazine.
Due to a lack of support, Images ceased publication in 1978. Two years later, citing a lack of literary content in the student newspaper, The Rag & Bone Shop was created. Conceived as a monthly journal, The Rag & Bone Shop enjoyed great success through 1982 by replacing the newspaper and providing innovative content including faculty interviews and emphasis on student life.
With no established rule of transition, The Rag & Bone Shop gradually disbanded, following various one-time publications such as “Locust Post” in 1981. These were replaced in 1986 with Fury, a student edited and faculty-advised publication in the vein of Images. Featuring student literary and artistic creations, Fury grew in popularity via the addition of student musical submissions, recorded on soundsheets and eventually, audiocassettes. After 1993, several one-time student publications were put together, including The Seventh Veil (1994), The 8th Wonder (1995), and Alchemy of the Muse (1996).
The first issue of “Headwaters” was published in 1997. The literature and art departments of UNC Asheville are now determined to restore their publication to the fine tradition established with Bluets in 1929.