July 17, 2012. The 21st Annual Avery Chamber Fine Art Festival and Master Craft is this weekend, July 20-22, at the downtown Banner Elk Elementary School. The festival is 4 to 8 p.m. on July 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 21 and July 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a free event.
Courtney Tomchik, raku clay sculptor, and Christi Buchanan, painter and mixed media, are two of the 85 plus artisans that will be representing their mediums in this juried handcrafted Fine Art and Master Craft Festival being held in downtown Banner Elk at the historic Banner Elk Elementary School hosted by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce. These two show favorties returning to this weekend’s Fine Art Festival, are both recognized for their craft and awards. Christi was showcased in Southern Living Magazine recognizing her whimsical paintings and artistry. Jewelry artists Blaine Taylor will introduce new designs from gold to platinum pieces and Jim and Barbara Runkle will showcase their beautifully crafted opal pieces mined all the way from their Australian owned opal mine. This venue will have several artists only at this festival showcasing their unique works, two of which are show favorites; Bill Squires and Roger Marsengill who bring their quality metal sculpted furniture and wall pieces.
New to the show this year are Cotton Ketchie, artists and author, Sally Nooney, with her Women with Attitude art and whimsical pieces, Avery Museum with their original design of the WNC ghost train at the depot under renovation in Newland. These artists’ works will be displayed inside the school during the show. The list goes on of artists with local ties to their mountain craft, artisans who have studied internationally and have commissioned pieces in several state capitals, the Smithsonian, White House and those artists who offer custom pieces for your mountain or low land homes. Come meet our newest artist to the show, Jason Becker, who creates chairs that hang from trees, and be sure to check Veronica Becker and her newest glass and found sculptures, which will leave you asking “how does she do that?” Additional artists and craftsmen will display wood furniture and wood turned pieces that will captivate the eye, mediums of potters, painters, textiles (purses, pillows), wood furniture and hand turned pieces photography, oil, watercolor painters, mixed media, lotions and so much more.
Stop by and check out new pieces by photographer, Mike Carley and painter, Vivian Edwards. Many of the artists travel the country throughout the year capturing new images stop by and visit with the artists and hear their travel tails and what has inspired them.
Face painting by Fake-A-Face and food by Carolina BBQ, munchies by, Formerly McFudge, Mookies Popcorn and introducing fresh baked strawberry shortcakes.
“We really strive to provide unique artists that may not frequent the High Country,” Susan Freeman, Director of the Avery County Chamber of Commerce said. “We hold fast to the fact that all our art and jewelry is handcrafted and really work to give back to the Avery community with fine art.”
All funds raised through the event will go towards marketing for the Chamber.
This free family festival has added an extra day to its event, to accommodate visitor’s schedule who may not be able to attend on Saturday. So come embrace the cooler temperatures under the High Country sky beginning Friday from 4-8 p.m., Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-4, and then stay after and enjoy a nice dinner at our local restaurants or stroll the Banner Elk Greenway.
For more information on accommodations, restaurants and upcoming events visit www.averycounty.com or call the Avery County Chamber, located in the Tynecastle Shoppes at the intersections of Highway 105 & 184, at 800-972-2183.