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Good For Kids
For A Date
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The Folk Art Center is right off the Blueridge Parkway.
Folk Art Center
Closest available address
382 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Asheville, NC 28805
Center is open from 9-5 Jan.-Mar., and 9-6 Apr.-Dec.
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
The Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the headquarters facility for the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The center includes several exhibition galleries, a library, craft shop and an auditorium. It was established at this location in 1980. The guild has 5 craft retail shops in various places as well as two annual sales events at a North Carolina arena in the spring and fall. A variety of products representing a diverse range of crafts are available for purchase. Categories include: pottery, glassware, dolls, furniture, jewelry, metalwork and woodcarvings.
The Southern Highland Craft Guild was established in 1930. It was initiated by a Presbyterian missionary named Frances Goodrich to help preserve a rich tradition of Appalachian craft making and also to provide a venue for craft product sales. Membership in the guild for artists and craftspeople is very competitive, only about 10% who apply are accepted. The guild has approximately 1,000 members representing 9 states in the southeast.
The center’s location on the Blue Ridge Parkway makes it convenient for those touring this scenic and historical road, and a visit here fits in well with the road’s cultural connection to Appalachia. The main gallery area is bright and spacious. Most of the crafts for sale are on the first floor. A second floor exhibition includes a gallery space for larger items such as furniture as well as a museum area. There were many craft styles on display, but some of the more memorable ones included glasswork, wood carvings and dolls. Given the quality of merchandise as well as the distinctiveness of the styles, a visit here should appeal to most people - not just those who like to shop. A craft purchase also makes for an interesting and rather uncommon gift. Craft demonstrations, including interaction with the artists, are offered at the center from May-December at 10:00am and 4:00pm. Product purchases generally have a 30 day return policy.
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