Craft Week returns to WNC

FORM AND FUNCTION: Demonstrations, festivals, musical accompaniment and tasty nibbles aside, Craft Week comes down to handmade work by skilled artists across the region. At his Arbitrary Forms Studio, Robert Milnes explores abstraction, symbolism and cognition in pieces such as this lidded container titled “We-must-pass-over-in-silence.” Photo courtesy of Milnes

American Craft Week is gearing up for its ninth annual celebration, held Friday, Oct. 5-Sunday, Oct. 14. During this nationally celebrated event, studios and galleries throughout the country open their doors to shine a spotlight on handmade craft in all its forms. North Carolina is one of the most active states, thanks, in large part, to the enthusiastic participation of art venues throughout Western North Carolina.

Throughout the mountain region, American Craft Week jump-starts a busy month of gallery visits from locals and tourists alike, along with special exhibits, demonstrations, showcases and workshops. Because his year’s American Craft Week coincides with the final month of Asheville’s Summer of Glass, participants can experience associated exhibitions alongside new exhibitions and special events, many of which are completely free.

Events take place in Asheville unless otherwise noted. Learn more at americancraftweek.com/wnc.

• Ceramic artist Robert Milnes explores abstraction, symbolism and cognition through functional objects and sculptural work. View Milnes’ work and register to win a piece of art at Arbitrary Forms Studio, 10-A Meadowview Road. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 9 and 10, noon-4:30 p.m. robertmilnes.com

• The Asheville Area Arts Council‘s Refinery Creative Space, 207 Coxe Ave., hosts opening receptions for two exhibitions. Reflections: Exploring Inspiration, in the Thom Robinson and Ray Griffin Exhibition Space, features artists from the N.C. Glass Center. Also opening is Community Cloth, curated by nonprofit art organization Local Cloth. This exhibition combines craft with community service in an interactive display. Visitors are invited to learn about and contribute to the creation of scarves, gloves and hats to be donated to a local homeless shelter. Friday, Oct. 5, 5-8 p.m. An additional artist talk is scheduled for Reflections on the same day at 6:30 p.m. ashevillearts.com

ALL ARTS CONSIDERED: Mountain Made Gallery in the Grove Arcade hosts glass artists, quilters, authors and others during American Craft Week. Artwork by Alberta Blazina, photo courtesy of Mountain Made Gallery
ALL ARTS CONSIDERED: Mountain Made Gallery in the Grove Arcade hosts glass artists, quilters, authors and others during American Craft Week. Artwork by Alberta Blazina, photo courtesy of Mountain Made Gallery

• Asheville Art in the Park is an outdoor art market, held at Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plaza, featuring handcrafted work from artists across a range of mediums. Saturdays, Oct. 6, 13 and 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ashevilleartinthepark.com

• Catch a demonstration on bookbinding and paper-marbling from artist Mary Carol Koester during Azalea Bindery‘s open studio day on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The studio is located at 1 Brookgreen Place. azaleabindery.com

• Auburn University graduates Holden McCurry and Ed Byers have been teaming up to create ceramic and mixed-media works since 2003. At the Byers McCurry Studio & Gallery, 21 Woodbury Road, visitors can observe the duo’s collaborative process and visit the adjacent gallery to view completed works. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 9 and 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. byersmccurrystudio.com

• The show North Carolina and the Studio Glass Movement continues at N.C. Glass Center, 140 Roberts St. This exhibition features a historical look at the Studio Glass Movement, connecting its regional influences throughout WNC. It remains on view throughout October with studio hours Thursdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ncglasscenter.org

• Artists demonstrate their chosen mediums at Yummy Mud Puddle Studios, 264 Clear View Lane, Burnsville. There, John D. Richards creates mixed-media sculpture and jewelry, while Claudia Dunaway showcases woodblock printing. Visit Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

• The Little Mountain Festival, now in its 43rd year, continues its tradition of community and craft on Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the studios of Tyson Graham Pottery, 6148 Peniel Road, Tryon. Graham holds a kiln opening at 11 a.m., followed by a pottery sale. Other featured artists include luthier and WNCW “Celtic Winds” host Richard Beard, who will showcase a variety of his handmade stringed instruments. Saluda-based musician and painter Hannah Seng will offer prints and paintings for sale, and live music will be performed throughout the day. tysongrahampottery.com

GO BIG AND THROW BIG: Among other happenings, The Village Potters offers a Multi-Kiln Opening Extravaganza where visitors can "watch master potters throw big.” Photo courtesy of The Village Potters
GO BIG AND THROW BIG: Among other happenings, The Village Potters offers a Multi-Kiln Opening Extravaganza where visitors can “watch master potters throw big.” Photo courtesy of The Village Potters

• The 12th Annual Spruce Pine Potters Market, 31 Cross St., Spruce Pine, is an invitational event showcasing the work of 30 prominent ceramic artists working in Yancey and Mitchell counties. A raffle to benefit the Fund for Mitchell County features work from participating artists Cristina Córdova, Terry Gess, Ron Slagle and Bandana Pottery (Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt). It takes place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. sprucepinepottersmarket.com

• Firefly Craft Gallery, 2689-D Greenville Highway, Flat Rock, represents dozens of local artists creating folk, contemporary and fine craft. On Saturdays, Oct. 6 and Oct. 13, noon-4 p.m., the gallery hosts artist demonstrations of fiber art, stained glass, woodcarving and more. fireflycraftgallery.com

The Horse: Passion and Fire showcases equine-themed oil paintings by Jenny Buckner and horsehair raku and sculpture from Judi Harwood in The Village Potters, 191 Lyman St., No. 180. The gallery is open Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and the studio’s annual Multi-Kiln Opening Extravaganza invites visitors to “watch master potters throw big” as they carve, shape and fire unique pieces on Saturday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. thevillagepotters.com

• The Artists@Work Studio and Gallery, 51 W. Main St., Brevard, presents demonstrations by painter Cathryn Cooper and ceramist Lucy Clark Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 10-13, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. lucyclarkpottery.com

• Grovewood Gallery, 111 Grovewood Road, offers multiple events in conjunction with American Craft Week. Animal Attraction displays animal-themed works by 14 artists. There will be demonstrations by metalsmith Audrey Laine Sawyer and needle-felting artist Karen Kennedy Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5 and 6; wet-felting artist Kendall White Friday, Oct. 12; and plein air painter Shawn Krueger Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12 and 13. Gallery hours are Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. grovewood.com

• Continuing at The Center for Craft, 67 Broadway, the exhibition In Times of Seismic Sorrows explores “the complex relationship between humans and the planet” through installations, textiles, sculpture and print works from Oklahoma-based artists Rena Detrixhe and Tali Weinberg. Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. craftcreativitydesign.org  

• Wine Down the Week at Mica Gallery, 37 N. Mitchell Ave., Bakersville, offers wine, small bites and fine craft from Toe River Valley artists. Friday, Oct. 12, 3-6 p.m. micagallerync.com

COLLABORATION: At the Byers McCurry Studio, Holden McCurry and Ed Byers have been teaming up since 2003 to create ceramic and mixed media works — such as "3 Prayer Towers," pictured here. Photo courtesy of Byers McCurry Studio
COLLABORATION: At the Byers McCurry Studio, Holden McCurry and Ed Byers have been teaming up since 2003 to create ceramic and mixed media works — such as “3 Prayer Towers,” pictured here. Photo courtesy of Byers McCurry Studio

• On view at The Gallery at Flat Rock, 2702-A Greenville Highway, Flat Rock, is The Artful Table, displaying creative table-dressing ideas and decor from gallery artisans. Visit the show Tuesday-Sunday, Oct. 9-14. Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. galleryflatrock.com

• Mountain Made Gallery, 1 Page Ave., No. 123, showcases work by glass artists Jason Probstein, Terri Sigler, Sharon McCollum, Linda Bellino and Alberta Blazina. Additionally, the gallery hosts quilter Julie Bagamary on Saturday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and authors Ruthie Rosauer (These Trees) and William Stanish (The End of the Curse) on Saturday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Gallery hours are Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m, and Sundays, noon-5 p.m. mtnmade.com

• The Folk Art Center, at milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, presents daily art demonstrations from regional artisans. Featured exhibitions include Forging Ahead, opening Saturday, Oct. 6, with work by the North Carolina Artist Blacksmith Association. Also, Naturally Gifted continues to be on view through Tuesday, Nov. 6, with work from Karen Collis in cornshuckery, Laura Gaskin in embroidery, Margie and Lonnie Johnson in clay, and Bill and Tina Collison in wood. Open daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. southernhighlandguild.org

Arrowhead Gallery and Studios, 78-C Catawba Ave., Old Fort, will host Celebrate McDowell County – 175 years, a show of work by McDowell County high school students, and, on Saturday, Oct. 13, artist Raquel Egosi will lead a one-day mixed-media workshop in the gallery’s large classroom. Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays, 1-4 p.m. arrowheadart.org

• Southern Highland Craft Guild‘s Parkway Craft Center, at milepost 294 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, presents daily art demonstrations from regional artisans. The center is open each day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. southernhighlandguild.org

• Blowing Rock Museum of Art and History, 159 Chestnut St., Blowing Rock, hosts The Maker’s Table on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6-7 p.m. There, artist Jeffrey Neil will lead the talks Shaker Oval Boxes – Form, Function and Fabrication, and Quilting with Wood. General admission is $5. blowingrockmuseum.org

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