The 69th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands will be held this weekend at the US Cellular Center. Larry Allen, who is an accomplished artist from Alabama and who is increasingly sought after by collectors of his hand thrown stoneware, will give demonstrations at the Fair. In 2007 one of Allen’s pieces was presented to Pulitzer prize winner and author, Harper Lee, on behalf of the Alabama State Council.
A wide variety of craft is on display at Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center from July 21 – 24th. Filling both the concourse and arena levels of the venue, craftspeople who are masters in their media will be exhibiting. Over 200 artisans have been carefully chosen by jurors before being allowed to exhibit in this Fair.
On display will be contemporary to traditional works of clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media, and jewelry. The Guild celebrates the emergence and rise of artists as they master their skill and execution in their medium. Known for representing quality creatives from Maryland to Alabama, you will have a chance to see Tina Curry of Knoxville, Tenn., who is a ceramicist incorporating memories of whimsy and humor into raku-fired sculptures,
raku by Tina Curry
John Hollifield of Hayesville, NC, who wields bamboo into limited edition fly-rods with custom-engraved reel seats and ferrules, Erica Bailey of Asheville, NC, who is a metalsmith with architectural intention capturing natural elements in jewelry, Amy Brandenburg of Asheville, NC, who molds precious metal clays into one-of-a-kind adornments for modern heirlooms, and Mark Gardner of Saluda, N.C., who turns trees into contemporary and functional wood forms with neoteric techniques.
As an avenue for regional marketplaces of mountain craftspeople, the Fairs have since evolved to a popular epicenter of craft in the country. In addition to retail, the Craft Fairs host demonstrations, supporting the Guild’s mission – to educate the public about the history of crafts in this region, various craft techniques, and an appreciation for fine crafts. The July show features ceramic arts in a dynamic variety with demonstrations from members, such as Larry Allen and his black stoneware pottery with sgraffito designs. Also there will be daily features from both the Asheville Quilt Guild and WNC Fiber/Handweavers Guild. Calligraphy, corn shuck and cloth dolls will be on display in their full process at the Fair too.
Since the first Fair, the music of the area has been woven into the fabric of the Craft Fair experience. From old-time to bluegrass, this tradition is kept alive today. Music will be performed on the arena stage by various groups at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The 69th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood Street | Downtown Asheville, NC