More than 40 artists, studios and art venues from the BLUE Ridge Parkway at Hwy 70 heading east to BLACK Mountain and beyond will be open to the public for the BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend Art Stroll & Studio Tour, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (studios), Saturday and Sunday, November 16-17. The two-day event, sponsored by AnTHM Gallery, Greybeard Realty, Seven Sisters Gallery and The Inn on Mill Creek, is a chance to visit working artist studios and downtown Black Mountain art venues, and to take part in demonstrations, workshops, studio tours, children’s crafts and live entertainment throughout the weekend.
Weekend activities are free and open to the public and include an antique spinning wheel in Black Mountain, a glass blowing studio in Fairview, a 3D found-object art sculptor’s studio in East Asheville, a photographer’s studio with demonstrations in Old Fort, and tours of acrylic and pastel painters’ studios in Black Mountain as well as a Blacksmith’s workshop. Spinning wheel demonstrations, handspun yarns, art quilts, earthy ceramics and Arts & Crafts handmade chairs can be discovered during the two-day event.
Event destinations include east Asheville, Black Mountain, Swannanoa, Fairview, Ridgecrest, and Old Fort.
An interactive tour map has been posted at www.bluetoblackartweekend,com, with driving directions, map markers, Web links and contact information for each site. A list of art demonstrations offered during the BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend also has been posted. Printed 2013 weekend brochures listing all participants may be obtained at the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber, AnTHM, throughout Buncombe County, Hendersonville, or at participating sites.
“Our BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend Art Stroll & Studio Tour is a wonderful way to step inside a working studio or downtown art venue and see how works of art are made. Thousands of people have toured the studios since 2006 when the first studio tour started (formerly known as E.A.S.T—East of Asheville Studio Tour), and we are pleased to continue this event bi-annually — always the first weekend in May, and now, the third weekend in November—to kick-off the holiday, gift-giving season,” said Cappi Macsherry, executive director of BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend.
“In May, participants sold artwork, took commissions for custom works, introduced community members to a “Taste of Black Mountain” with May’s annual Chamber fundraiser and Painted Rocking Chair debut, talked shop and made some long-lasting contacts. This is a great way to get to know our BLUE To BLACK artists, art venue retailers, and historic arts area.” “This November’s BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend fundraiser will benefit Black Mountain’s Community Garden. Check the website for further details on this artsy and organic event.”
While the BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend is the time when visitors know participating studios and venues will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., a map listing the multiple BLUE To BLACK studios and art venues is available for visits all year long on a “best-to-call-ahead” basis for studios.
Macsherry said the art scene is hot in the Black Mountain region and includes artists working with fabric, collage, thread, paint, paper, wood, glass, metal, photography, fiber, wood turning and clay. These artists paint quilts, stitch books, coil baskets, mold found-art sculpture, build fine furniture, throw bowls, design & make fine jewelry, carve wood and knit sculpture. Curious travelers can find one-of-a-kinds from handspun yarns, blown glass ornaments, handmade sterling earrings, hand-molded ceramic mugs to fine, folk and outsider style art, along with other handmade collectibles in addition to experiencing craft demonstrations, working studios, or art venue offerings firsthand.
BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend is made possible by a group of committed community artists and arts advocates in addition to multiple area sponsors.
In addition to the weekend’s events and Community Garden fundraiser, on view at the Monte Vista Hotel November 1-December 31 is “Fabulous Fakes”: Interpretive Paintings from the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League of Master’s works—a favorite annual show put on by the art league. A ‘Meet the Artists’ reception will take place 5-8 p.m., Friday, November 15, along with a sampling of artworks and handmades being shown on the BLUE To BLACK Art Weekend Art Stroll & Studio Tour. The public is invited to attend and to help kick off our big weekend.