THE MUSIC MAN: Bascom Lamar Lunsford, third from left, appears in this photo from the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Scrapbook, Southern Appalachian Archives, Mars Hill University. The caption reads, “The Lovingood sisters and the Greer sisters with Bascom about 1933, ‘still feeding my soul!’”

Mars Hill’s Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival celebrates a folk hero

While many people wear multiple proverbial hats and dabble in more than one career, Madison County-born Bascom Lamar Lunsford epitomized that concept. A lawyer and a folklorist, the Mars Hill native campaigned against hillbilly stereotypes while preserving Appalachian mountain music traditions. A performer himself — his recordings are included in the Archive of American Folk […]

PUBLIC WORKS: Asheville-based sculptor Hoss Haley says that the work he does for commission is "more design-based, where the needs of the client and the site require a great deal of consideration.” Xpress file photo

Form and function: Large-form metalwork makes its mark on WNC

Asheville probably has more public sculpture than most cities of similar size — a direct result of the region’s rich arts-and-crafts heritage. For starters, there’s Passage, Albert Paley’s abstract steel sculpture at the Veach-Baley Federal Complex on Patton Avenue; Dirck Cruser’s Energy Loop, the first city-purchased sculpture, which sits across the street from City-County Plaza; […]

Bailey Mountain Cloggers

Smart bets: Mountain Heritage Day

Break out the candles! Western Carolina University celebrates its 125th year during the 40th annual Mountain Heritage Day festival, a free event to recollect WCU’s rich history. Two stages and a dedicated dance floor will host clogging team performances and concerts (including Grammy Award-winner David Holt), and more than 100 vendor booths will sprawl into […]

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 […]

SONY DSC

Smart bets: Heritage Weekend

This September marks the 34th year for Heritage Weekend, a free festival that explores traditional Appalachian customs like beekeeping, coopering, heritage toy making, broom and furniture making, spinning and natural dyeing, all sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Both Saturday and Sunday offer a full lineup of crafts, dance and mountain-inspired music with fare […]

ART MEETS CRAFT: Gee's Bend quilter Mary Lee Bendolph signs a print. “We ended up looking at the printmaking process itself and reflecting on the ‘art-versus-craft’ debates that these quilts stirred up by being in museums in the first place,” says exhibit co-curator Marilyn Zapf. Photo courtesy of Warren Wilson College

Dual local exhibits examine the Gee’s Bend quilts through prints

It’s been 12 years since the art world first heard about Boykin, Ala. — better known as Gee’s Bend. This small, unincorporated community tucked deep within a river bend is home to the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective, a multigenerational group of African-American women made famous by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts’ 2002 show The […]

WILD CHILD APPROVED: Celebrate local music, food, drink, arts and eccentricities on Lexington Avenue. Photo by Frank Merenda

LAAFF returns with an eye toward the future

“Never say die,” reads the poster for the Lexington Avenue Art and Fun Festival, which returns Sunday, Aug. 31, after a one-year hiatus. When the beloved (and, in recent years, beleaguered) event’s return was announced earlier this summer, it was as a last hurrah. Organizers Kitty Love (LAAFF’s co-founder, who’s now executive director of the […]

Photo by LAAFF staff

LAAFF announces schedule for Aug. 31 festival

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival  returns on Sunday, Aug. 31 with a full day’s worth of music, art street theater, local vendors, food and drink and more. Festival planners just released the lineup, which includes more than a dozen bands on two stages, with an additional stage programmed by Lex 18 moonshine bar. The […]

IT TAKES TWO: Part Big Crafty-style art and craft show, part music festival, Big Love celebrates Asheville from all angles. Photo of the Garage 34 booth by Brandy Bourne

Big Love Festival celebrates over 150 independent local businesses and organizations

As Sunday, Aug. 24, approaches, don’t be alarmed if you see two people at Pack Square Park taking tape measures to sidewalks and other structures. It’s just Big Love Festival co-organizers Brandy Bourne and Justin Rabuck ensuring that their event is meeting safety and venue guidelines. Now in its fourth year, Big Love evolved out of […]

BET Wood and Wine Dervish

Smart bets: Wood & Wine

Grovewood Gallery recently added an exhibition space dedicated to fine wood art. And how better to celebrate than with a toast? That’s the idea behind Wood & Wine, a showcase and celebration featuring contemporary sculptural and functional work. Included in the show is French artist Alain Mailland, “who specializes in green wood hollowing techniques,” according […]

BET_AliDouglass

Smart bets: Ali Douglass

There is something comfortingly familiar about Ali Douglass’ whimsical illustrations and paintings. It might be the eye-pleasing color combinations, charming characters and quirky cityscapes and scenes — or it might actually be that you’ve seen them before. Douglass has been illustrating for countless magazines and newspapers  — including Seventeen, Martha Stewart, Glamour and The New […]

Photo by Brandy Bourne

Smart bets: The Big Crafty

Go local and bolster your DIY cred at the same time at The Big Crafty. There, artists and makers of all kinds will convene in downtown Asheville and sell their one-of-a-kind, handmade wares. “Our guiding principle is that buying handmade is good for the community, and our aim is to make doing so fun,” say the […]

BET Krista+Hannah

Smart bets: Krista Allison + Hannah Dansie

Although the term “canoe” usually conjures images of river veneers and summer camp activities, in the case of fiber artist Krista Allison, the homophone Canoo equals soft toys from felted wool sweaters. “She now finds herself experimenting with other possibilities of the felting process, including shibori, machine stitching and hand embroidery … making vessels, wall […]