The 25th annual Arts & Crafts Conference takes place at the Grove Park Inn next month (Friday-Sunday, Feb. 17-19). The event, which attracts a nationwide audience, has expanded over the years to include an antiques show (“the country’s largest and most important Arts & Crafts antiques show of the year,” according to the event website, with more than 50 dealers from the U.S. and England who are selected specifically for the show), a contemporary craftsfirms show (with “interpretations and accurate replicas of Arts & Crafts antiques”), a books and magazines show, house tours led by the Asheville Preservation Society, small group discussions and more.
This year, in honor of the quarter-century mark, Mayor Bellamy signed a proclamation naming the week of February 12-18 as Arts & Crafts Heritage Week.
In the past, the conference has been largely relegated to the Grove Park Inn (though the audience spills over the neighboring hotels). This year, according to conference founder Bruce Johnson, “Working with Pack Library, the Art Museum, the Preservation Society and the local architects, we have a series of week-long activities (many free) designed to help people understand and appreciate the role the Arts & Crafts movement has played in shaping the character of Asheville.”
You can learn about registering for the conference here.
The schedule of events includes:
• Pack Library Exhibit Arts & Crafts of Western North Carolina, open daily.
• Slide Presentation: “From Mountain Crafts to Arts & Crafts” by Johnson. Renaissance Hotel, Monday, Feb. 13, 5:30-7 p.m. Free.
• Panel Discussion: “Problems and Solutions in Restoring Older Homes” by the Asheville Preservation Society. Masonic Temple, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 6-7 p.m. (historic building tours from 5-6 p.m.). Free.
• Luncheon Presentation: “Green and Greener: The New Arts & Crafts Bungalow” by the Asheville chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Princess Anne Hotel, Wednesday, Feb. 15, Noon-1:15 p.m. Free, optional lunch $10 (reservations required, 404-376-7452).
• Benefit Dinner and Presentation: “The Pottery Tradition of Western North Carolina” by author Rodney Leftwich; sponsored by the Stickley Museum and hosted by Biltmore Industries. Thursday, Feb. 16, 6-9 p.m. (limited seating, reservations required, see www.Arts-CraftsConference.com for details).
• The 25th National Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference Antiques & Craftsfirms Shows. Friday, Feb. 17 1-6 p.m., three-day admission $10.
• Saturday, Feb. 18: Preservation Society House Tours. 1-4 p.m., $35 (reservations 254-2343).
Grove Park Inn Conference Shows, Noon-6 p.m., three-day admission $10. Asheville Art Museum Reception, Artistic Expression of Galle and Tiffany. 5-7 p.m., $25 (reservations 253-3227).
• Sunday, February 19: Preservation Society House Tours, 12:30-3:30 p.m., (254-2343,) $35.
Grove Park Inn Conference Shows, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., admission $10.
For complete information and further updates, please go to www.Arts-CraftsConference.com or call (828) 628-1915.
Of the Arts & Crafts era, Johnson writes, “The emergence of the American Arts & Crafts movement and the symbolic, simple bungalow coincided with Asheville’s most significant era of residential development. The arrival of the railroad in 1880 spawned a wave of home building influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement that can still be seen today in neighborhoods such as Albemarle Park, Montford, Kenilworth, Biltmore Village and West Asheville. In place of towering Queen Ann mansions, local architects such as Richard Sharp Smith and Ronald Greene designed modest middle class homes unencumbered by unnecessary rooms and household servants.” Learn more here.