Mountain State Fair
Fall’s chilly nights signal a host of seasonal treats, and after the apple harvest, the first and finest may be the state fair. With its bounty of oversized vegetables, its stable of farm animals, its midway rides and its fair-only fare (fried Snickers bars, anyone?), the N.C. Mountain State Fair is nine days of family friendly fun. This year, the entertainment lineup includes country artist Chuck Wicks and newgrass legend John Cowan. For a full schedule, visit mountainfair.org. Watch mountainx.com for photo galleries and bonus coverage.
Hands in Harmony concert
While multimedia concerts are not a new thing, photographer Tim Barnwell and his musician friends are giving new (read old-school) meaning to the medium. Hands in Harmony: The Concert celebrates Barnwell's photo essay book, Hands in Harmony, which details craftspeople and musicians around WNC. David Holt, Don Pedi and Bruce Greene, Laura Boosinger, Wayne Henderson and others will perform alongside projected images of Barnwell’s work. Diana Wortham Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m. $10 general admission, $8 museum members. ashevilleart.org.
City of 1,000 Easels
It's a different, quieter sort of performance art: on Sunday, Sept. 12, artists of acrylics and oils (rather than, say, banjo-picking and side-show acts) will set up their easels around downtown Asheville. Between 3 and 6 p.m., with the public looking on, they’ll create an original piece of art. It's an opportunity for passers-by to gain insight into the artist process — and possibly purchase a piece. During the three-hour showcase, artists are invited to participate in a silent auction, with the option of donating the proceeds to the Arts Council. It’s the first, ambitious project from the council’s new programs director (and longtime Asheville performance artist/art-advocate) Graham Hackett. Featuring the work of many Asheville favorites (including Moni Hill, whose work is pictured here) and talented amateurs as well. Ashevillearts.com.
Josh Phillips at Orange Peel
In case you missed Josh Phillips' Orange Peel show back in the winter, here's your second chance. Snow-date tickets are still good and — if his Downtown After Five performance was anything to go by — Phillips is still as energetic-positive-syncopated-rootsy-fabulous as ever. Plus, he's got new material in the works. Phillips and his Folk Festival return to the Orange Peel Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 p.m. The Lee Boys and musician/producer/Avett Bros. proud papa Jim Avett also perform. $10 advance/$12 doors. theorangepeel.net.
Sara Gruen at Malaprops
Author Sara Gruen is a fairly recent (and under-the-radar) transplant to Asheville, but her subject matter — most recently in the novel Ape House — is far from N.C.-rooted. Ape House is the engaging/action-packed story of a scientist working in a language lab with bonobos who communicate through sign language. When the lab is bombed and the apes kidnapped and turned into reality TV stars, the scientist must depend on an animal rights protester, a tattooed assistant and a tabloid reporter to save her beloved bonobos. Gruen reads at Malaprop's on Saturday, Sept. 11. 7 p.m. The event is ticketed, one ticket comes with each purchase of Ape House. malaprops.com.
Mountain Song Festival
The hills are alive . . . with the sound of Doc Watson, David Holt, Jerry Douglas Band, Kruger Brothers, Red Wine, Darrell Scott and (festival hosts) the Steep Canyon Rangers. The Mounatin Song Festival, held in Brevard Music Center's Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, is both a benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County and an opportunity to take in some of the best of roots music — not all of from the Appalachian Mountains, either. Red Wine comes from Italy; The Kruger Brothers transplanted to North Carolina from Switzerland. Friday Sept. 10, 4 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 11, noon. $70 both days, $35 Friday only, $40 Saturday only. mountainsongfestival.com.
Art X Architects
"Ask an architect what their favorite class was as a kid as many will likely say 'Art,'" says a press release. "In fact, many architects began their study in art, and later transferred their sense of scale and proportion, texture and design to our built environment, coloring our skylines and streetscapes with their work." AIA Asheville presents The Art of Architects (smaller works by local architects, including paintings, watercolors, sculpture, photography, weavings and furniture) through September at the Pack Place Gallery. Opening reception Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m. aiaasheville.org.