The Asheville area is rich with craft tradition, and that has translated into arts and crafts festivals and classes of every kind. From pottery to glass to cloth fiber, the media through which artisans and students alike can express themselves are plentiful. Following, a few of the many arts festivals and classes that you can be a part of in and around Asheville:
Biltmore Village Art & Craft Fair
Occurring annually for nearly half a century, Village Art & Craft Fair brings high-quality crafts to Biltmore Village, on the grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls.
Asheville Art in the Park
This annual fest in Asheville’s Pack Square takes place on three consecutive Saturdays each June and October. Local artists of national renown exhibit handcrafted art across an array of media.
North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival
Ceramic arts of all genres including tile work, sculpture, jewelry, and pottery are featured at this Pack Square festival. Among the attractions are 40 ceramic art vendors, food trucks, raku demonstrations and live entertainment.
The Big Crafty
This biannual craft marketplace features some 150 selected artists, makers and crafters. Visitors to the fest can also enjoy local food, drink and music amid a community bazaar atmosphere.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Held in downtown Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center, this long-running annual fair features a variety of craft, from contemporary to traditional artistry of clay, wood, metal, glass, paper, mixed media and jewelry.
LEAF Festival and LEAF Downtown
These popular world cultural arts fests, occurring at Lake Eden and in Pack Square, draw thousands every year to experience an eclectic array of international entertainment and art.
Cloth Fiber Workshop
This learning center, located in Asheville’s River Arts District, offers a variety of workshops centered on textile arts for students of all experience levels.
North Carolina Glass Center
This nonprofit, public-access glass studio provides daily educational offerings and demonstrations. The works of the center’s artists and instructors are on display in the NCGC glass gallery.
Open Hearts Art Center
Serving adults with disabilities since 2005, this one-of-a-kind program includes classes in painting, drama, dance, music, fiber arts, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, screen printing, gardening (seasonal) and creative writing.
Penland School of Crafts
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, this international center for craft education offers one-, two-, and eight-week workshops in books, paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking, letterpress, textiles, and wood.