This weekend sees the return of the annual Village Art & Craft Fair in Biltmore Village. Now in its 36th year, the open-air show features some 125 exhibitors (34 of whom will show at the Cathedral of All Souls location for the first time). Works range from paintings, ceramics and sculpture to fiber arts, jewelry and mixed media.
Personally, I enjoy craft shows, and though I’m a hobby-peruser rather than a hard-core critic, I think this particular event — yet another creation by Asheville arts mogul John Cram — is one of the best around. And this year the show (branded by its cat-festooned poster) shows promise of a little edge.
Why? Because local outsider artist Gabriel Shaffer will be there. Shaffer (who shares his profession, though not his painting style, with folk artist mom Cher Shaffer) has a penchant for sexy female forms with alien-green visages, pop-culture references imposed on ultra rich-hued and vividly detailed backgrounds, nods toward anime, mythology and psychology, winged hipsters, demonic rockers and pathos-riddled antiheroes. His work rides the razor’s edge between troubling and compelling; Shaffer’s own demons channeled onto attractive, wall-ready canvases.
That Shaffer’s work will be for sale alongside cat art surely makes the trip to Biltmore Village worth the effort.
The Village Art & Craft Fair runs Saturday, Aug. 2, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 3, noon-6 p.m.
— Alli Marshall, A&E reporter