Oct. 3, 2013. Join us for the 66th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville on Oct. 17-20. Over 200 juried artists of the Southern Highland Craft Guild will be selling works of clay, metal, wood, jewelry, fiber, paper, natural materials, leather and mixed media. With styles ranging from traditional to contemporary, the Fairs showcase the rich talent, diversity and craft mastery of Guild members.
The Craft Fairs have a proud tradition and history of excellence by representing the Southern Highland Craft Guild, a nonprofit organization formed in 1930. The Fairs began in 1948 as a way to provide a regional market for the mountain craftspeople. Since that time, the Craft Fairs have set the standard for fine craft shows across the country. Each year in October, craft collectors and gallery owners from across the country come to Asheville to see the show. They are joined by western North Carolina residents who appreciate the quality and history of the show, knowing it is an ideal destination for shopping and inspiration. Nearly 20,000 visitors to the Fairs each year invest in the regional and local economies while supporting artists working in the Appalachian mountains, and by spending a summer or fall weekend in beautiful Asheville.
In addition to providing a retail market for juried members, the Guild also hosts craft demonstrations during the fairs. A strong part of the Guild’s mission is to educate the public about the history of crafts in this region, various craft techniques and an appreciation for fine crafts. Visitors have the opportunity to see artists using traditional methods of handmade craft like George McCollum weaving a white oak basket, beginning with splints he has harvested from the tree, or Betsy Morrill’s innovative deconstructed screen printing on fabric. Visit www.craftguild.org for a complete list of scheduled craft demonstrations.
Beginning on Friday during each craft fair, mountain musicians perform live on the arena stage. Since the first fair in Gatlinburg in 1948, the music of the area has been woven into fabric of the Craft Fair experience. From old-time to bluegrass, this tradition is kept alive today.
The Southern Highland Craft Guild is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1930 to bring together 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.