Top 70 Asheville Art Events, Festivals & Tours

Top 70 Art Events, Tours, Festivals 2016

The Asheville art scene is booming and we are consistently voted one of the biggest art destinations in the country. Each year, more artist studio tours, events and art shows appear. Here are our favorite annual Asheville art events. Plan your next trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains around one of these! Also see more events and festivals for Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall and the Holidays.

Our Favorite Art Events & Festivals in Western North Carolina 2016

For art any day of the year (along with special openings and shows), see our Asheville Gallery Guide or visit the Folk Art Center with rotating exhibitions and daily demonstrations. And take an art class or workshop in Asheville.

February 19-21, 2016: Arts & Crafts Antique Show and Conference
For the past nineteen years Arts and Crafts enthusiasts - including new collectors, veterans, curators, craftsperson, authors, builders, architects, designers, editors, and bungalow owners - have traveled to the Blue Ridge Mountains and The Grove Park Inn for this show. Admission. Read more about the Arts and Crafts Conference

April 1, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius of downtown with exceptional art and activities, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide.

April 2, 2016: Potters of Madison County
20+ ceramic artists from the Southeast showcase diverse contemporary selection at the Marshall High Studios in downtown Marshall, 9 AM-5 PM. No admission fee.

April 30, 2016: Fire on the Mountain Blacksmith Festival
Held in Downtown Spruce Pine from 10 AM-4 PM featuring vendors, live demonstrations, hands-on tent with rotating teachers and visiting blacksmiths from around the region and country.

April 23, 2016: Greening Up the Mountain
Annual street festival in Sylva that features music, art and craft. Read more about Greening Up the Mountain.

May 6, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius of downtown, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide.

May 7-8, 2016: Weaverville Art Safari
Weaverville, 10 miles north of Asheville, is the home and workplace of many of the area artists. Take a self-guided driving tour of the various artists' studios, tucked away in the countryside communities of Weaverville, Barnardsville, and surrounding countryside. Read more about the Weaverville Art Safari. To download a map and see a full list of artists, go to their Web site.

May 12-15, 2016: LEAF Festival
Celebrate Music, Discover Community, and Experience Culture at LEAF in a beautiful lakefront setting near Black Mountain (about 12 miles from downtown Asheville). Five Stages of Folk & World, Bluegrass, Blues, African, Celtic, and jams with headline performers. Handcrafts, folk art, dancing, Poetry SLAM, healing arts workshops, water recreation, and camping. Admission. See our LEAF Guide

May 14, 21 & 28, 2016: Ooh La La Curiosity Market
Come to Pritchard Park downtown Asheville to see work of local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters ,up-cycled crafters, clothing designers and photographers. Live music also. 10 AM-4 PM

May 14-15, 2016: Fiber Weekend
Fiber Weekend features craftspeople at the Folk Art Center sharing their inspiration and expertise in a variety of textile arts. Demonstrations on Saturday include: quilting and appliqué, doll making, weaving, mixed media fiber arts, clothing design, printing and surface design, tapestry weaving, and natural dyeing. On Sunday, see the Handmade Wearables Fashion Show. Free. Read more about the Folk Art Center.

May 21, 2016: Montford Arts and Music Festival
This street festival, including musical acts, food, and a juried art show, highlight the artistic strength of Montford, one of Asheville’s oldest neighborhoods. This giant neighborhood block party features 100 artists and craft’s persons, regional and international food plaza, and two stages of live music. 10 AM-7 PM. Free. Read more about the Montford Festival.

May 21, 2016: Saluda Arts Festival
The quaint mountain village of Saluda celebrates its heritage and arts culture from 10 AM to 5 PM on Historic Main Street in downtown Saluda. See a dazzling diversity of 2D and 3D art media including oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings, pottery, wood turning, blacksmithing, sculpture, jewelry, painted furniture, stained glass, and more. Music representing Americana, blues, folk, and contemporary will be ongoing.

May 21-22, 2016: River District Artists Studio Stroll
The Studio Stroll is your chance to tour the studios, meet with the artists and purchase artwork. Within just a few blocks are dozens of eclectic mix of creative artists - from traditional to cutting-edge. Near downtown Asheville. Free. Read more about the River Arts District.

May 28-29, 2016: Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Kenilworth neighborhood, just five minutes from downtown Asheville, annual Open Studio Tour features 20+ jewelers, painters, glass-workers, fabric artists, potters, woodworkers, photographers, and more! They open their studio doors to welcome visitors for sales and demonstrations. 10AM-5PM. See our Kenilworth Art Studio Tour Guide.

May 28-29, 2016: White Squirrel Festival
Go nuts in downtown Brevard with a parade, plenty of live music, food, arts and more. Read all about it.

May 28-30, 2016: Lake Lure Arts Festival
See handmade creations from more than 60 artisans from across the region. Free admission. Across from The Beach at Lake Lure, 2771 Memorial Highway. Go to our Lake Lure Guide.

May 28-29, 2016: Garden Jubilee Festival
This Downtown Hendersonville Festival is the ideal event for passionate gardeners searching for the perfect plants and unique lawn & garden accessories and arts & crafts. See our Hendersonville Guide.

June 4 & 11, 2016: Ooh La La Curiosity Market
Come to Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville to see work of more than a dozen local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters ,up-cycled crafters, clothing designers and photographers. Live music also. 10 AM-4 PM

June 4, 2016: Clay Day at Folk Art Center
This free event (10AM-4PM) features craft demonstrations and hands-on activities for children and adults. Members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild demonstrate throwing on the potter's wheel, hand building and surface design on clay, among other techniques. A highlight of the day is the Make and Take Raku Firing. Read more about the Folk Art Center.

June 3, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide.

June 3-5, 2016: Toe River Studio Tour
About an hour north of Asheville, tucked in the lush green mountains is one of the finest collections of artists and craftsmen in the world and the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts. A unique blend of contemporary and traditional cultures. More than 100 fine artists and crafts people open their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure. Free. Read more about Toe River Studio Tour.

June 11, 2016: Bluff Mountain Festival
This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging and square dance, and a silent auction and raffle of regional art work, local crafts, vacation packages, and more. The festival produced by Madison County Arts Council, begins at 10 AM, offers an array of delicious foods and ends with a square dance until dark. Go to Madison County Arts Web site.

June 11, 2016: Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration
A full day celebration in downtown Waynesville of traditional mountain craft, food, and entertainment. Demonstrations of Appalachian life skills & crafts, storytelling, mountain music & clogging, home-style food vendors. 10 AM –5 PM

June 11, 18 & 25, 2016: Asheville Art in the Park
See and buy fine arts and crafts from dozens of local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown. Read more about Art in the Park

June 17-18, 2016: Blue Ridge Mountains Arts & Crafts Show
Held indoors at the Haywood County Fairgrounds located on Highway 209 (758 Crabtree Road) near Waynesville and Lake Junaluska, 8 AM-5 PM with 50 crafters offering all handmade items. Free parking. Go to their Web site

June 18, 2016: Front Street Arts & Crafts Show
A variety of artisans come to the artsy village of Dillsboro, complete with music and food. 10 AM-4 PM. 

June 25-26, 2016: Summertime Art & Crafts Show
Held in the Ramsey Center arena on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, the show is home to some of the most respected and unique artisans in the Appalachian Mountains with more than 100 exhibitors showcasing their contemporary and heritage art & crafts. An array of items will be displayed for sale, including: fine art, woodworking, pottery, weaving and gourd art. Heritage crafts such as shaker brooms, pine needle baskets and folk dolls will also be available, along with heirloom fabric items. Go to the Summertime Art & Crafts Web site.

July 1, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a half mile radius of downtown with exceptional art and activities, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide.

July 2, 9, 16 & 23, 2016: Ooh La La Curiosity Market
Come to Pritchard Park in the center of downtown Asheville to see work of more than a dozen local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters ,up-cycled crafters, clothing designers and photographers. Live music. 10 AM-4 PM

July 2-3, 2016: Freedom Arts & Crafts Show
The Blue Ridge Artists and Crafters Association, a local nonprofit group has an indoor show with approximately 50 crafters, free parking, free admission, and food at Haywood County Fairgrounds in Waynesville.

See more July 4th Festivals.

July 15-16, 2016: Fine Art and Mastercraft Festival
This outdoor show in Banner Elk is strictly fine art and master crafts by invitation only by a juried process. Mixed media, jewelry, sculpture, blown and stained glass, pottery, painting, photography, textiles, unique craft, furniture, and wood. Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 10 AM-4 PM

July 21-24, 2016: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
The big Craft Fair, held in the Civic Center in downtown Asheville, showcases juried work by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with members throughout the mountain regions of nine states. Admission. See our Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands Guide.

July 30, 2016: International Day
This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international cuisine, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and regional music and dance. See our Waynesville Guide.

August 13 & 20, 2016: Ooh La La Curiosity Market
Come to Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville for works of more than a dozen local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters ,up-cycled crafters, clothing designers and photographers. Live music also. 10 AM-4 PM

August 6-7, 2016: Village Art & Craft Fair
Held on the grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village near the entrance to the Biltmore Estate, the fair hosts 100+ artists from 20 states representing the full spectrum of craft media - jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more. Free. See our Village Art & Craft Fair Guide

August 5, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius of downtown with fun-filled evening full of exceptional art and activities, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide.

August 5-6, 2016: Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, Downtown Burnsville
The streets of this "Norman Rockwell" town come to life for this special festival. Quality crafters display hand-made furniture, wrought iron, blown glass, beaded jewelry, locally-made quilts, home-made jams and jellies. See our Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair Guide.

August 6, 2016: Wood Day
Wood Day is an event that brings together the woodworkers of the Southern Highland Craft Guild to demonstrate a wide range of woodworking techniques and skills at the Folk Art Center from 10 AM-4 PM. Free.

August 13-14, 2016: Sourwood Festival
There's always plenty to see and do at this free street festival in downtown Black Mountain with great music and lots of fun, and of course lots of great mountain cookin'.

August 12-13, 2016: Fine Art and Mastercraft Festival
This outdoor show in Banner Elk is strictly fine art and master crafts by invitation only by a juried process. Mixed media, jewelry, sculpture, blown and stained glass, pottery, painting, photography, textiles, unique craft, furniture, and wood.

August 20-21, 2016: Come to Leicester Studio Tour
Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville. A detailed tour map will be available at every tour stop. 10 AM-6 PM

September 2, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius of downtown, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide for places to visit everyday

September 3, 17 & 24, 2016: Ooh La La Curiosity Market
Come to Pritchard Park in the center of downtown Asheville to see work of more than a dozen local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters ,up-cycled crafters, clothing designers and photographers. Live music also. 10 AM-4 PM

September 17-18, 2016: Heritage Weekend
This is the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s weekend to celebrate heritage crafts of the Appalachian Mountains. See craft techniques with hand tools, native materials, and lots of ingenuity through demonstrations in the native arts at the Folk Art Center. In addition to crafts, traditional music and storytelling. World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday. Read more about Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center.

September 17, 2016: Art in Autumn
Downtown Weaverville street festival with more than 100 juried artists and craftspeople, along with an exciting array of food and live music. 10 AM-5 PM on Main Street. Six miles north of Asheville. Free. See our Art in Autumn Guide.

September 17-18, 2016: Open Studio Tour of Henderson County
Self-guided, free tour of 36 studios with more than 60 artists in Hendersonville and Flat Rock areas. 10 AM-5 PM. Go to their website

September 24-25, 2016: Art Trek: Foothills Open Studios
Self-guided, free tour of approximately 20 artist studios in Tryon, Saluda, and Mill Spring, North Carolina and Landrum, South Carolina starting at Upstairs Artspace at 49 South Trade Street in Tryon where a map and directions are available. Go to their website.

September 30-October 2, 2016: Asheville Quilt Show
Held at the WNC Ag Center with 200+ competition quilts on display, plus quilting skills demonstrations, vendors and quilts for sale. Fri & Sat, 9-5 and Sunday 10-5

October 1-16, 2016: WNC Open Studios
Self guided tour of 30 artist studios in Buncombe, Polk and Transylvania Counties. Studios open at various times. Free admission. Go to their Web site.

October 7, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius of downtown, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide

October 1, 2016: Color Fest, Art & Taste of Appalachia
40 local demonstrating artists who will fill the picturesque town of Dillsboro with color. See artists painting at easels under colorful umbrellas, hear stands of music blossoming through the doorways, and experience a delicious taste of NC foods and wines. 10 AM-4 PM. Free

October 1, 8 & 15, 2016: Asheville Art in the Park
See and buy fine arts and crafts from local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown. Read more about Art in the Park

October 8-9 & 15-16, 2016: Blue Ridge Mountains Arts & Crafts Show
Held indoors at the Haywood County Fairgrounds located on Highway 209 (758 Crabtree Road) near Waynesville and Lake Junaluska, 8 AM-5 PM with 50 crafters offering all handmade items. Free parking. Go to their Web site

October 8, 2016: Church Street Art & Craft Show
Main Street in downtown Waynesville is transformed into an art & craft marketplace for this one-day event; widely known as one of the finest juried art shows in the region. Live mountain music & clogging, entertainment, food. 10 AM-5 PM.

October 8-9, 2016: Spruce Pine Potter's Market
This unique gathering of the region’s greatest potters and clay artists features wonderful food and beautiful handmade pottery on a colorful autumn weekend at the historic 31 Cross Street Building in downtown Spruce Pine. Admission is free.

October 14-16, 2016: Harvest Festival
Showcase of traditional mountain life, held at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, located near Fontana Lake and Robbinsville with best of Appalachian dance, music, food, arts and crafts. Read more!

October 15-16, 2016: Lake Lure Arts Festival
See handmade creations from more than 60 artisans from across the region. Free admission. Across from The Beach at Lake Lure, 2771 Memorial Highway. Go to our Lake Lure Guide.

October 15, 2016: Apple Harvest Festival
Plenty of crafts, music and apples in downtown Waynesville, 10-5

October 15-16, 2016: Woolly Worm Festival
Race a worm and browse 100+ art and craft vendors in downtown Banner Elk. Read more.

October 20-23, 2016: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Held in downtown Asheville, the huge fair showcases work by hundreds of members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Admission. Go to the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands Guide.

October 20-23, 2016: LEAF Festival
Celebrate Music, Discover Community, and Experience Culture at LEAF in a beautiful lakefront setting near Black Mountain. 5 Stages of Folk & World, Bluegrass, Blues, African, Celtic, and jams with headline performers. Handcrafts, folk art, dancing, Poetry SLAM, healing arts workshops and camping. Admission. See our LEAF Guide.

October 29-30, 2016: Weaverville Art Safari
Located ten minutes north of Asheville, Weaverville is the home to many extremely talented artists. Drive to studios and galleries tucked away in the countryside. Free. Read more about the Weaverville Art Safari.

November 5, 2016: Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
A juried event in Dillsboro with approximately 45 potters from across the Southeast. See our Pottery Festival Guide.

November 4, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius of downtown with fun-filled evening full of exceptional art and activities, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide.

November 12-13, 2016: River District Artists Studio Stroll
Tour the studios, meet with the artists and purchase artwork. Within just a few blocks are dozens of eclectic mix of creative artists - from traditional to cutting-edge. Near downtown Asheville. Free. Read more.

November 19, 2016: Christmas Show
The Blue Ridge Artists and Crafters Association, a local nonprofit group has an indoor show with approximately 50 crafters, free parking, free admission, and food at Haywood County Fairgrounds in Waynesville.

November 25-26, 2016: Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Show
Held at the Western Carolina University Ramsey Center in Cullowhee. A perennial favorite for unique regional arts and crafts at great prices. 100+ potters, glass artists, wood craft, folk dolls, and hard to find Old World Santa’s and ornaments.

November 25-26, 2016: Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain County, starting at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. 10 AM-5 PM. Read more. 

December 3 & 10, 2016
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at Folk Art Center. Members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild will be on hand in the center’s auditorium to sell select work 10-50% off retail.

December 2-4, 2016: Toe River Studio Tour
About an hour north of Asheville, tucked in the lush green mountains is one of the finest collections of artists and craftsmen in the world and the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts. More than 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium open their studios for a free, self-guided adventure. Free. Read more about Toe River Studio Tour.

December 2, 2016: Downtown Asheville Art Walk
(First Friday Every Month April-December) Visit 25 galleries, museums, and jewelry studios within a walkable half mile radius of downtown with fun-filled evening full of exceptional art and activities, 5-8 PM. See our Asheville Gallery Guide.

Meander through the scenic mountain valleys to visit 50+ artists in their studios and galleries. Get the tour map and drive country roads to visit as many of the studios as you want. It's a... read more
September 17, 2016
This juried arts and crafts festival fills Main Street in tiny Weaverville, just 7 miles north of Asheville. From 10 AM until 6 PM, the 10th... read more
One of your first stops in the River Arts District near downtown Asheville and Biltmore should be The Village Potters, home to six very accomplished artists. Most days,... read more
See the works of 25 local artists (mostly painters) at 310 ART at River's Edge Studio in the River Arts District. Find a variety of styles and techniques in all price... read more
River's Edge Painting StudioLocated in the River Arts District at 310 Art (read more), just two miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate, is the oldest and most... read more