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Annual Fine Art and Master Craft Festival with More Than 85 Artists Returns to the Historic Banner Elk School

July 3, 2012. The 21st Annual Fine Art and Master Craft Festival returns to the historic Banner Elk School located in downtown Banner Elk on Friday evening July 20 through Sunday July 22. Sponsored by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, this well respected event brings an eclectic array of artisans together with varied mediums to our region under the umbrella of the High Country Summer sky. Susan Freeman, Director of the Chamber, shared how this juried festival will again see the return of show favorites, but also will see at least 15 new artists, with some of these selected artists only to be found at this one festival in the High Country.

One such photographer and author, Cotton Ketchie, who captures the Essence of America, will be on hand sharing stories of his travels and highlighting images of the Linn Cove Viaduct, celebrating 25 years of connecting the Blue Ridge Parkway. Freeman stated the artist selection process is strict and factors in fine art for the most discriminating collector alongside works reflecting the whimsical side of life; the goal is for any who comes to the festival to find something for their price point and buying desire.

The 85 plus artists hail from a variety of backgrounds and influences from around the world. Many have produced commissioned pieces on display in museums from oversea venues to the Smithsonian and the White House in our nation’s capital. Some artists have defined their talents in places like Rome and others are found studying new styles from artisan schools such as Penland School. This juried event showcases masterfully crafted wares that will leave attendees asking “how do they do that?” Keeping with our mountain heritage, some of the artists in attendance have learned their craft passed down through generations. The festival provides a great opportunity to find a collectible piece of your own, an original work or heirloom that can be passed along to your children as well and always a great time to purchase unique gifts for loved ones for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas and holiday gift giving.

The Fine Art and Master Craft Festival remains committed to quality work, uniqueness of medium and especially items not found at other High Country art festivals. Works will be for sale and you’ll find price points to meet every budget.

Join the chamber in celebrating their 21 years presenting the artists who grace our mountains with works of pottery, photography, jewelry, wood furniture and pieces, painting, textiles, mixed medium and even lighthearted ‘yard art’ for your home. While you’re there, be sure to stop by the Avery Chamber information booth and share news and views of your favorite artists with them and drop your name in the box so they can stay connected whether you live here year round or just visit. Admission is free and the exhibition works are priceless.

Contact the Avery County Chamber to learn more at 1-800-972-2183 or go on line at www.averycounty.com.