The 76th AnnualCraft Fair of the Southern HighlandsJuly 20-23 and October 19-22
View from the Arena Level at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Admission: Adults $10, children under 12 free.
ASHEVILLE, NC – For four days each July and October, Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville comes to life with both functional and decorative crafts made in the Southern Highland region. Over one hundred artists, makers, and craftspeople will fill the two-level building to sell their works of pottery, sculpture, furniture, tapestry, apparel, mixed-media, jewelry, and more.
Unlike other fairs, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is an experience, a place to show off the talent and innovation of regional makers and musicians. It is diverse: crafts rooted in Appalachian traditions are featured alongside contemporary works. Walking through the Craft Fair, visitors witness the evolution of American craft objects, learning how traditional processes can capture the modern world through the artist’s medium. The focus of the fairs is on the process of craft, often lost in a highly mechanized and digital world; the work of the hand – iron is hammered to become a fireplace tool, splints of white oak are harvested to become a basket. This theme is reflected throughout the fair with live interactive demonstrations where visitors can learn processes from highly-trained craftspeople. Also over the weekend, local musicians perform traditional and bluegrass mountain music on the downstairs stage.
Carol Rifkin, who will be bringing the Henderson County JAM program, is a host DJ for “This Old Porch”, the radio show on Sunday afternoons. She and Henderson JAM will be at the Fair Saturday morning. The Madison County JAM program will be featuring Bayla Davis. Cary Fridley will be bringing those musicians and performing on Sunday morning. Buncombe Turnpike will be performing new songs from their latest album set to release soon.
Since 1948, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands has showcased work by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, (SHCG) a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping crafts alive and relevant in modern times. Having been accepted into the Guild through a rigorous jury process, the artists at the fair represent the finest in the Appalachian region. Membership to the SHCG is open to craftspeople, makers, and artists living in the mountain counties of nine states from Maryland to Alabama. To apply online and learn more, visit craftguild.org/join. Email [email protected] to register for a Mentoring Workshop to prepare for the jury process. For the first time in the history of the SHCG, applicants can purchase a booth to sell and have their work juried at the fair.
Asheville, North Carolina, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, provides the perfect setting for the Craft Fair. Long known as an arts and crafts destination, Asheville offers architectural charm, eclectic restaurants and a wide variety of lodging. As an organization, the Guild has been serving artists in this area since 1930.
The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is brought to you by The Laurel of Asheville, Asheville Radio Group, WLOS Channel 13, and Explore Asheville. For a complete listing of exhibitors, craft demonstrations, and entertainment schedule for the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, visit craftguild.org/craftfair.
“Creating a world in which craft and other native talents can flourish – this is the Guild’s legacy. The craftspeople of Southern Appalachia are always aware of tradition and forever renewing themselves from the old sources of nature, family, spiritual life and the desire to share one’s gifts with others.”
Jan Davidson, former director of John C. Campbell Folk School, an educational center of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
The Southern Highland Craft Guild is a non-profit, educational organization established in 1930 to bring together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the benefit of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation. The Craft Fairs are one of the ways in which the Guild fulfills its mission. To learn more about Guild programs, visit www.craftguild.org.
For the full list of exhibitors, visit craftguild.org/craftfair