Asheville offers a rich variety of opportunities to our guests who love crafts and learning about the heritage of crafting in this region. A particular draw is the Folk Art Center, located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just minutes outside of town. The Folk Art Center is home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild, an 85 year old organization dedicated to “bringing together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the shared benefit of education, conservation and marketing”. The Guild represents nearly 1,000 craftspeople in 9 southeastern states across the Appalachian mountains, and the Folk Art Center features three galleries, a bookstore, a library, the Allanstand Craft Shop, and a Blue Ridge Parkway information desk.
Visitors can see live craft demonstrations daily in the Folk Art Center lobby from March to December, and the Center also has special events, including the annual Fiber Weekend, coming May 9 and 10. Craftspeople will demonstrate their skills throughout the day on Saturday including sheep shearing, natural dyeing, spinning, weaving, felting, quilting and more. On Sunday, the Folk Art Center’s auditorium will be transformed into a runway for the Sixteenth Annual Fashion Show of Wearable Art. Fiber artist Liz Spear will emcee the event. Styles showcased will range from contemporary to traditional, from funky to classic, made by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and other regional artists. Throughout the fashion show, Liz will explore many fiber art processes, and focus on the various schools and studios in the area which offer classes in textiles to everyone from the beginner to the experienced fiber artist. There will be two separate showings of the Fashion Show, at 1 and 3pm.
The Folk Art Center is a highlight for anyone who loves fine crafts, and afterward, you can take a drive or a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy all the natural beauty of spring in the mountains.