Asheville Glass Blowing & Art

Asheville Glass Blowing & Art

In 2018, the Asheville area will celebrate the long history of glassblowing in western North Carolina. The "Summer of Glass" runs May-October with many special events. Watch artists at work, tour galleries and see the monumental "Chihuly at Biltmore" exhibition. (Pic above: Lexington Glassworks)

Chihuly Glass at Biltmore
Dale Chihuly, Laguna Torcello, 2012, 12 1/2 x 64 x 20', ©Chihuly Studio

Chihuly at Biltmore: This must-see exhibition (May 17-October 7) features Dale Chihuly's famous spectacular glass creations inside Biltmore House and throughout the gardens. Illuminated evening tours too! Read more.

Lexingon Glassworks, Asheville

Lexington Glassworks (81 South Lexington): Our top place to watch glassblowers at work is Downtown Asheville. Owners and glassblowers Billy and Geoff love to demonstration the entire process. They even have a special viewing area with benches and a bar with local beers on tap! The gallery is open every day with glassblowering each day except on Tuesdays. Admission is free. Their gallery is full of their gorgeous creations in all price ranges. They are open late on many weekends with live music the first Friday of each month, April-December. Read more about them.

Bender Glass Gallery, Asheville

Bender Gallery (12 South Lexington): Just up the street from Lexington Glassworks is the region's only contemporary fine art gallery specializing in museum quality glass sculpture by U.S. and international artists. See work by some of today's leading glass artists including the world renowned Maestro Lino Tagliapietra, Davide Salvadore with sons Marco and Mattia, Hiroshi Yamano, and husband and wife team Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg. You will be inspired by their creativity and skill. Read more about them.

Blue Spiral Gallery, Asheville

Blue Spiral 1 (38 Biltmore Avenue) is the largest fine art gallery in downtown Asheville. See exceptional creations by 100+ artists on three floors.

NC Glass Center

North Carolina Glass Center (140 Roberts Street, Asheville): Located just a couple of miles from downtown and Biltmore is the River Arts District, home to this non-profit glass teaching center. Stop by to watch demonstrations and sign up for a class. Book a 30-minute hands-on glass experience ($50-$75/person) to work one-on-one with an instructor to create their your own piece of glass. What a souvenir! Many area glassblowers use their studio, and you'll find their work in the gallery open 7 days a week (no demos on Tuesday).

Summer of Glass Event Sampler

  • Kick-off celebration is Friday, June 1st in conjunction with the Downtown First Friday gallery stroll. In addition to Lexington Glassworks and Bender Gallery, walk over to Blue Spiral 1 and Asheville Art Museum.
  • A Launch party will be held June 2nd at New Belgium Brewery.
  • Demonstrations of glass blowing, glass jewelry making, stained glass, enameling and working with glass beads throughout the western North Carolina area.
  • History of Glass in WNC exhibition in the River Arts District (14 Riverside Drive).
  • VIP weekend events once a month in June, July, August and September that includes guided studio tours, hands-on opportunities, tickets to Chihuly at Biltmore and Glass Collector home visits.

Glass Blowing Artists Studio Dillsboro

Outside of Asheville: WNC Top Glass Stops

Jackson County Green Energy Park (50 miles southwest of Asheville): This fascinating arts complex in Dillsboro that is powered by methane gas captured from the old town landfill. The fuel provides heat for blacksmith forges, metal foundry, pottery kiln and glassblowing. Watch demonstrations most days and check out their gallery. Also, artsy downtown Dillsboro is nearby with many galleries!

Penland School of Crafts (50 miles northeast of Asheville) a famous center for craft education tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains with one to eight week workshops in a big variety of mediums, including glass. Their gallery of student work is very impressive, and you can explore the historic campus. Classrooms and most studios are closed to the public. Located near Spruce Pine.

Top 12 WNC Summer Art Festivals & Tours

Saluda Arts Festival
Saluda Arts Festival
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Outstanding festival with 100% hand-picked regional artists along Saluda's historic Main Street. See a big diversity of art media and enjoy music representing Americana, blues, folk and contemporary. Watch artist demonstrations. Free. 10 AM-4 PM.
Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Saturday, May 26, 2018 to Sunday, May 27, 2018
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!
Arts & Crafts Fair
Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, Cashiers
Saturday, May 26, 2018 to Sunday, May 27, 2018
See works from 90 of the finest artisans from the Southeast on the Village Green in Cashiers, 10 AM-5 PM. Find ironwork, woodcraft, textiles, cakes, jams, pottery and more. Free admission, but donations accepted.
Banner Elk Art
Art on the Greene
Saturday, May 26, 2018 to Sunday, May 27, 2018
Find a big variety of 40 artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry and more in downtown Banner Elk. Many restaurants, shops and things to do nearby. Benefits their historic school renovation. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Toe River Studio Tour
Toe River Studio Tour
Friday, June 1, 2018 to Sunday, June 3, 2018
More than 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium open their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine and Burnsville area.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, June 16, 2018, Saturday, June 23, 2018, Saturday, June 30, 2018
See and buy fine arts and crafts from dozens of local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown. 10 AM-5 PM.
Front Street Arts Festival
Front Street Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Stroll down the main street in artsy Dillsboro and see works 40 of the best regional artisans, along with family entertainment and festival food. Many galleries, too. 10 AM-4 PM. 
Studio Tour
Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Friday, June 22, 2018 to Saturday, June 23, 2018
Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center near Fontana Lake and Robbinsville. 10 AM-5 PM. 
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Friday, July 20, 2018 to Sunday, July 22, 2018
The Craft Fair showcases work by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with over 900 members throughout the mountain regions of nine states. Members' work must be juried and accepted by a committee of peers, based on quality, design and craftsmanship.
Banner Elk Art Festival
Fine Art and Mastercraft Festival
Friday, July 20, 2018 to Sunday, July 22, 2018
This outdoor show in Banner Elk is strictly fine art and master crafts by an invitation-only. Held on the lawn of the historic Elementary School (185 Azalea Cir SE). Mixed media, jewelry, sculpture, glass, pottery, painting, photography, wood & more. Friday 1-5 PM, Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 10 AM-4 PM. 
Mt Mitchell Crafts Fair
Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair
Friday, August 3, 2018 to Saturday, August 4, 2018
The streets around Burnsville’s town square are filled with 200 juried crafters displaying nearly every kind of handmade craft imaginable. Located 35 miles northeast of Asheville.
Biltmore Village Art Fair
Village Art & Craft Fair
Saturday, August 4, 2018 to Sunday, August 5, 2018
Fantastic fair in Biltmore Village with 100 hand-selected artists from 16 states, representing the full spectrum of craft media - jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more.
Art in Autumn Fest
Art in Autumn Fest
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Fun outdoor arts and crafts festival in Weaverville that includes 100 juried artists, food and live music. Free admission and parking. Just 7 miles north of downtown Asheville.
Art on Main Hendersonville
Art on Main, Hendersonville
Saturday, September 29, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018
Meet and buy from 85 juried fine art artists with paintings, clay, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, glass and more. Watch demos. Main Street downtown Hendersonville has many galleries too, Sat & Sun 10 AM-5 PM
Summer bring so many great festivals and events to Asheville and the western North Carolina mountains, including our many small towns. Here are our favorites! Also see special features for ... read more
Fall is a very busy time for a variety of street festivals, events, art tours and more. Most are free to enjoy! The autumn foliage color show adds to the excitement. See our Fall... read more