Friday, September 22, 2017

First Friday Art Walks in Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) & Lexington Glassworks. 2017 - Just three left this year!

First Friday Art Walks in Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) & Lexington Glassworks. 2017 - Just three left this year!
Visit the Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) through the First Friday Art Walks on the first Friday of each month, this year, 2017, with just three left to attend – on the Fridays of October 6, November 3rd and December 1st.  Don’t miss this delightful way to tour and view the fine arts and crafts traditions of Western North Carolina!  The First Friday Art Walks are from five to eight pm. featuring over twenty-five locations that include galleries, studios and museums.  The galleries, studios and museums featured on the walk are all within a half mile radius of historic downtown Asheville; admission to each varies and is on a  “Pay-as-you-wish” basis.
Stops along this self-guided tour include museums (including the Asheville Art Museum), studios and galleries; and during the First Friday Art Walks,  partake in special events, including exhibition openings, guest artists to observe and meet, live music, refreshments and more.  What a great way to view and see Asheville’s vibrant downtown and Asheville’s downtown art scene.  Find wonderful & special gifts to purchase!  Printed brochures to participating sites may be found at all member galleries, various locations around town as well as the Asheville Visitors Center. 
For a complete listing of participating studios, galleries and museums, and for a map of the walk and locations of the the various galleries and stops click here to view a brochure .

As a part of the 1st Friday Art Walk events, be sure and visit Lexington Glassworks Studio (click here), glassblowing gallery and working studio.  View the fascniating art  of glassblowing first-hand, listen to bluegrass music and perhaps drink a local craft beer in a hand-blown glass at the taproom here.  Look for the big green garage doors (often wide open) at 82 South Lexington Avenue, Asheville, NC (828 348-8427).  Besides these special events each 1st Friday between four and eight pm, Lexington Glassworks is also open to the public 6 days a week, Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm.
Along your art stroll you will also pass by many of Asheville’s amazing restaurants and breweries.  Be sure and stop for an appetizer, meal and/or beverage before, during or after your inspiring walk.  If you are looking for a place to stay, check out Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast, 828 994-2627 (reservations and information), located within a mile of Asheville’s historic downtown district.

Monday, September 18, 2017

What is a Luthier? Enjoy a Jam Session & Luthier Craft Exhibit at Smith-McDowell House Museum

Chris Testerman teaches, builds and plays fiddles, banjos and dulcimers and studied in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program.

The Luthier exhibit may be viewed and enjoyed through October 25th 2017.

Besides viewing the art of stringed instrument building found in the special luthier craft exhibit, participate in an old-timey (and new-timey!) jam session!  Join others on the front porch of the Smith-McDowell House Museum for a "jam" session on September 23rd 2017 from 1pm - 3pm.  All skill levels are welcome, the more the merrier!  Instruments may include guitar, banjo, fiddle, lap dulcimer, ukelele, mandolin, harmonica, spoons and more!  Bring your creative spirit, instrument, picnic basket, blanket, chair for a fun afternoon on the front lawn and porch of the Smith-McDowell House.  Be a listener or a jammin' musician!  Dance along, sing along, smile along.  If you desire, drinks and food will be available for $1.00 otherwise there is no admission fee to participate during the afternoon Jam Session - so y'all come on and be a part of the musical spirit of Western North Carolina and the Appalachian Mountain musical traditions!  

While at the Smith-McDowell House Museum and on the AB-Tech campus, stroll to the top of the hill and sit on the front porch of the Fernihurst historic home.  Maybe the best mountain & sunset views in town (George Vanderbilt tried to purchase Fernihurst).  End the afternoon of music - watching the sunset in a big white rocking chair!  

The Smith-McDowell House Museum is open Wednesday through Saturdays, 10 am to 4pm.  Admission is $9.00 for adults, $5 for Children ages 8-18 and Students with a student ID, free for Children 7 years old and younger.  For more information about the Smith-McDowell House Museum (click here for link to website), call 828 253-9231, email and visit the website to stay updated on special events and activities. Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast (828 994 2627 reservation offices) is a block away - if you are staying there just walk on over to the museum!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, 2017 Asheville, NC

The Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, 2017 is celebrating its 70th anniversary!

Always an amazing event to attend, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is a wonderful way to view local craftspeople / makers and their works.  Enjoy both viewing, demonstrations, vignettes, live mannequins and local live music, along with the opportunity to purchase delightful and locally made works of art!  This year, 2017, the Craft Fair will be held for three days in July on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd, and again in October on the 20th, 21st and 22nd (10 am to 6pm both Friday and Saturdays, 10-5 on Sunday) at the US Cellular Center in vibrant downtown Asheville.  

The cost for admission is $8.  Children 12 and younger are admitted at no charge.  Tickets are available at the door.

The Mission of the Southern Highland Craft Guild is: “Cultivating the crafts and makers of the Southern Highlands for the purpose of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation.”

Over 140 Craftspeople  Makers will be showcasing their works on two levels of the US Cellular Center in July, about 70 craftspeople on each level. Clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materals, paper and wood are all media that will be exhibited and available for purchase.

This year three “vignettes” will be set up in order to showcase and demonstrate crafts and how they might be integrated into daily life and homes.  The three vignettes for July are as follows:  1) "Rustic Elegance” / Living Room, 2) "Transitional” / Dining Room, and 3) “Contemporary” / Bed Room

Additionally, many demonstrations will be available, showing various makers at work.  Live mannequins will also be at the Craft Fair this year, modeling some of the makers' works.

The US Cellular Center is located at 87 Haywood Street right in the heart of downtown Asheville.  Eclectic local restaurants are within walking distance to the Center as well as several lodging options. The Visitor Center is within easy walking distance as well, where you may find a plethora of local information as well as one of the stops for the Historic Trolley Tour (good for two days of “hop on/ hop off” riding), a wonderful way to get an overview of downtown, Asheville’s history with stops in the historic downtown as well as nearby outlying areas such as the River Arts District, South Slope “Beer District,” Thomas Wolfe Boyhood home, Biltmore Village and the Grove Park Inn & the Grovewood Galleries, to name a few places you might want to visit during your Vacation in Asheville.  

If you are in need of lodging, Bed & Breakfasts abound in Asheville and can provide a more intimate option to the larger chain hotels.  Be sure and call Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast (828 994-2627 for reservations and information), just two miles south of the US Cellular Center, tucked right between Downtown Asheville’s South Slope and Biltmore Village.  Oakland Cottage also has pet friendly rooms (click here for pet policies) for your well behaved pet.  And enjoy the Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Ingles Independence Day Celebration at Pack Square Park, July 4 2017, Asheville, NC

Pack Square Park in the heart of Downtown Asheville will be a wonderful place to spend the 4th of July – a free event, all afternoon and through the evening (2pm – 10pm) with food, festivities, activities for kids, live music and more with a grand finale of fireworks at 9:30 pm.

For the family, LEAF Easel Rider will be providing children’s activities including bouncy rides - open and available for kids from 2-6 pm.  Wrist bands cost $3.00 and are good for all rides and activities for as many times as your child might wish to bounce.  Splasheville will be open till 6:00 pm – always a free and fun option on a hot summer day in the park!!  Hula Hoops will also be available to enjoy on the Roger McGuire Green area of the park, from 2-4 pm, hosted by Asheville Hoops.
While dogs are otherwise NOT permitted, Ultimate Air Dogs will have competitions taking place on the hour at 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm and lastly at 7:30 pm for the grand finale!!  This is always a treat to watch.  Registered dogs are permitted in the Ultimate Air Dogs show area.  For registration and doggy particulars be sure and visit the Ultimate Air Dogs website at
Live music & entertainment begin at 5:00 pm at the Park Stage, featuring Grammy award winner, fiddler and local talent, Mark O’Connor and the O’Connor Band.  Other opening acts include Savannah Smith & Southern Soul and The Greenliners.  Local, Kat Williams, will sing the National Anthem to kick off the fireworks show that again start at 9:30 pm on the fourth.  Food and Beverage vendors will have food, beer, cider, soft drinks, BBQ and other foods available for purchase.  
For more information, visit the Asheville Downtown Association website.
Other nearby venues to check out for 4th of July festivities are the West AshevilleTail Gate Market Events, and the nearby quaint little  Town of Weaverville at Lake Louise Park.
For lodging information, stay with us at Oakland Cottage B&B, just 2 miles south of Pack Square Park and The Roger McGuire Green, 828 994-2627 reservations and information about Oakland Cottage.