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Folk Art Center [MP 382]

The Southern Highland Craft Guild, chartered in 1930, is today one of the strongest craft organizations in the country. The Guild now represents close to 1000 craftspeople in 293 counties of 9 southeastern states. For over 80 years the Guild has been “bringing together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the shared benefit of education, conservation and marketing”. During the Depression the Guild cultivated commerce for craftspeople in the Appalachian region. This legacy continues today as the Guild plays a large role in the Southern Highlands craft economy through the operation of five craft shops and two annual craft expositions.

Built as their headquarters, the center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians. In addition to an Eastern National bookstore and Blue Ridge Parkway information desk, the center houses three galleries, a library and Allanstand Craft Shop.

The center displays include century-old pieces and it also houses the first craft shop in the U.S. As an organization with roots that date back to the beginnings of the Southern Arts and Crafts movement – the Guild holds the largest and most important collection of Appalachian Craft in the world. Selected items from this collection are on view in the Permanent Collection Gallery at the Folk Art Center. As well as an object collection, the Guild maintains an extensive archive of documents paramount to preservation of this important regional history.

Excerpted from TripAdvisor reviews:

Entertaining, interesting, and really really cool – When we walked in, a guy was demonstrating wood bowl turning on a lathe. He explained each step and then gave us his demo bowl. we then walked through the museum itself. beautiful woodwork, as well as ceramic and metal pieces. Of course, there is a museum shop selling all the artists’ work, and the prices are reasonable. Definitely worth a stop on your way to/from [A]sheville. ” — user evie30 Washington DC

Worth the stop – Nice place to stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Asheville. Craft arts for sale (though better selections can be found elsewhere, such as at Biltmore Village New Morning Gallery or the Moses Cone Manor near Boone). Of more interest are the permanent galleries of wood works, quilts and other art forms. Nice layout, nice facility ” — user Franklin SC

Incredible works from NC artisans – The Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center is nestled in a lovely wooded spot off the Blue Ridge Parkway right next door to Asheville, NC. If you’re in the area, be sure to make time to park, walk in, and then take in all the exhibits by some masterful craftsmen and women. The day I visited, an NC intaglio printmaker was there who gave us the opportunity to try our hand at plate etching. Not only can you view the exhibits, there is also a retail store area where you can purchase the arts and crafts. When you’re finished shopping, there are some great spots outside to enjoy a leisurely picnic. ” — user shell904 Davidson, NC

Interpretive and Educational
  • Special events are held at the Center March through December. The schedule is subject to change, so please call ahead for the latest information.

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