Blue Ridge Craft Trails exhibit spotlighting Western North Carolina artists opens Feb. 10

Press release from Blue Ridge National Heritage Area:

A new exhibit featuring the works of nearly three dozen Western North Carolina craft artists opens on Monday, February 10, 2020 at the Western Office of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in Asheville, North Carolina. The exhibit is an extension of the new Blue Ridge Craft Trails. It highlights the diverse works of craft found in the North Carolina mountains and foothills.

Artists in the exhibit include Billy J. Welch of Robbinsville with a hand-carved Cherokee Booger Mask, Pam Silva of Brasstown with a “flower vase” made of Merino wool and silk, and Janice MacDonald of Morganton with a “mica fish” crafted from screen wire and mica mined from local mountains.

“We are excited to showcase some of the best craft artists in our region,” said Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Executive Director Angie Chandler. “Their work is remarkable – you can tell they are inspired by the natural beauty and distinctive culture of Western North Carolina.”

The exhibit is made possible through a partnership between North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Special programming is being planned to accompany the exhibition and will be announced soon.

Located at 176 Riceville Rd. Asheville, North Carolina, the exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  For more information about the exhibit, call 828-296-7230 ext. 222.

The Blue Ridge Craft Trails, a system of drivable trails, is an initiative of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) and celebrates the region as a vibrant center for traditional and contemporary handmade crafts through the promotion of craft artisans, arts organizations and heritage tourism. Through these efforts, BRNHA aims to increase income for craft artists and businesses, enhance cultural tourism, and improve economic opportunity for the region. Learn more at

About the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, designated by Congress in November 2003, works to protect, preserve, interpret, and develop the unique natural, historical, and cultural resources of Western North Carolina for the benefit of present and future generations, and in so doing to stimulate improved economic opportunity in the region. National Heritage Areas are locally-governed institutions that encourage residents, non-profit groups, government agencies, and private partners to work together in planning and implementing programs that preserve and celebrate America’s defining landscapes. For more information, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit


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