SPECIAL FINDS: Unique arts and crafts, like these pieces by Tiffany Ownbeyare part of Weaverville's annual Art in Autumn festival. Photo courtesy of the artist

Art in Autumn: Crafts, commerce and community in Weaverville

The first brainstorming session for Weaverville’s Art in Autumn festival took place in December, 2006. “We were desperately seeking ways to bring more foot traffic to the downtown area of Main Street,” remembers Sherrye Perry, a Weaverville Business Association member. With Beth Mangum, Perry organized what would become a successful annual event. “It seemed a […]

ROCKING HARD IN BREVARD: The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin play a previous Mountain Song Festival. The weekend-long music event and benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County started at the suggestion of Cindy Platt. Photo courtesy of the festival

Beyond bluegrass: Brevard’s Mountain Song Festival continues to evolve

“We never intended this to be exclusively a bluegrass festival,” says John Felty, owner of Mountain Song Productions. He’s talking about the Mountain Song Festival, now in its eighth year, which takes over the Brevard Music Center for a September weekend. While bluegrass is a strong component to the music showcase, “We are definitely looking ahead to […]

Selena Glass and Metal studio on the TRAC tour.

Insider perspective

A handmade piece of artwork, whether it’s a ceramic mug or a one-of-a-kind painting, is an insight into the personal narrative of the artist. Buying directly from an artist’s studio is a chance for the collector to connect to that artist’s process in a way they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Denise Cook, executive director […]

Liz Stiglegs of CozyBlue makes embroidery and patterns for DIY crafters.

All sewed up

In the hierarchy of craft cachet, fiber arts are often less discussed than other media such as pottery or metalwork. Maybe that’s because textiles are, by nature, a quieter genre: no hammers to wield, forges or kilns to stoke or clay to sling. But Western North Carolina’s textile artists are not only thriving, they’re taking […]

Midwest-transplant Deb Karash (whose work is shown here) was drawn to the small town’s thriving arts scene. She’s one of the Marshall High Studios artists who will show at this weekend’s Handmade Market.

Class project

Five years ago, the artists of Marshall High Studios brainstormed an annual event in the spirit of the holiday season. Because the artists do not keep regular open-studio hours, the idea that became the Marshall Handmade Market was a way for them to share their space and their work with the community. Additional makers from […]

Equine Entertainment: The Rural Academy Theatre is making several stops in WNC. The horse-and-wagon-pulled performance troupe features live music, silent movies and shadow puppetry. Photo courtesy of Rural Academy Theatre


At the lumbering speed of 2.5 miles per hour, the Rural Academy Theatre is making their second tour through Western North Carolina. The horse-drawn performance troupe loads all of its supplies, instruments and equipment into a wagon-trailer reminiscent of the Oregon Trail computer game. A few bicyclists ride alongside the caravan to scout roads and […]

Claymation: Browsers and shoppers at the Spruce Pine Potters Market, which highlights works by potters primarily from Mitchell and Yancey counties. Photo by Richard Kennedy

A whole lot of crockery

North Carolina’s pottery tradition stems from the very makeup of its geography: lots of clay. While the clay-laden soil may be a challenge for gardeners, it also provides a rich supply of artistic material. The use of local clay has been part of our history for a long time, with pottery shards dating back to […]

Go big or go home

It is said that artists are only limited by their imaginations. Contrary to that famous saying, printmakers are limited by the size of the printing press. That is, until they acquire some construction equipment to help them out. Asheville Bookworks is hosting an event on Saturday, Aug. 31, where eight to 10 artists will be […]

The glass and ceramic work created at the EnergyXchange is powered by decomposing trash — methane from a former landfill.

Gas to glass

The EnergyXchange in Burnsville is in the innovation business. Built on the site of a former landfill, the complex includes four greenhouses, three cold frames, a retail craft gallery, a visitor center, clay studio and glass studio. And most of it's fueled by decomposing trash. Methane, that is. Glassblowing and ceramics studios are notorious for […]