“Is All this Art Locally Made?” – The Question (Almost) Everyone Always Asks

mountain made art from western north carolina

“Are all your arts and crafts made here in Western North Carolina?”

Due to the outstanding craftsmanship of the art and crafts available in our gallery, almost everyone secretly wonders, “How can something so beautiful be locally made, especially here in [the backwoods of] North Carolina?”

The answer is yes!

As a local Asheville art gallery, we showcase a variety of different arts and crafts – all produced in Asheville and the surrounding Western North Carolina mountains.  We are always looking for the best and  our gallery features the works of over a 150 accomplished craftsmen, writers, musicians and artisans – in both contemporary and traditional mountain arts and crafts.

Below is a partial list of the kind of artworks that we have currently on display in our shop. If you have any questions about contemporary mountain arts or any of our artisans, then please contact us for assistance:

  • handcrafted artisan jewelry made from gems, beads & precious metals
  • fine ceramic art and hand-thrown earthen pottery,
  • hand-sewn quilted wall hangings
  • gourd art & woven baskets,
  • hand-turned bowls & wooden accent pieces,
  • original wall art and paintings,
  • whimsical metal garden art,
  • blown glass goblets and pitchers, plus fused & stained glass art,
  • plus books and music CDs by our local authors and musicians.

Arts and crafts making has a very long and colorful history here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the traditional handwork of the Cherokee, to the Craft Revival period (mid 1890’s into the 1940’s) and the Studio Craft movement that started during the 1950’s and 60’s.

The Studio Craft Movement, “Is generally thought to have begun in America post WWII due to the converging impact of the G.I. Bill, the expansion of art schools [like our own Black Mountain College]… and the establishment of the American Craft Council, among other factors.

And although early signs of this movement can be found in western North Carolina in the 1960’s, studio craft did not fully take root in the region until the 1970’s”.


Traditional Arts & Crafts & Contemporary Art

Traditional mountain crafts were originally made out of necessity. For example, if you needed a baking dish then you created one because it was functional and had a useful purpose.

On the other hand, contemporary (or modern arts and crafts) produces objects that are primarily created for their beauty or based on the desires of the artist.


And sometimes a piece of art’s only purpose is to add a pop of color or a touch of whimsical fun into your life!

So it is no surprise that in 2008, a study found over 2,200 full- and part-time artisans residing and working here in Western North Carolina as well as over 100 art galleries.

Today Western North Carolina is home to one of the largest concentrations of artists and craftspeople in the Southeast.

Because of this, Asheville’s art galleries and artist studios are brimming with handmade crafts and eclectic artwork.


So the next time you are out in downtown Asheville, we invite you come by and view for yourself, the works of  the 150+ artists, craftspeople and authors we have on display in the Mountain Made gallery.

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