Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) will be hosting an American Craft Week exhibit in the Refinery Creator Space from Friday, October 6, through Friday, October 20. This year’s exhibit, titled We Are American Craft Week, will include an artist invitational in the Thom Robinson/Ray Griffin Event and Exhibition Hall.
“This year, we decided to not only highlight local craft artists, but also our fellow craft organizations and galleries,” says AAAC program manager Mamie Fain. “This is the first time we have had the opportunity to collaborate with so many partners and it’s very exciting.”
Western North Carolina is home to one of the highest concentrations of craft artists in the country. “This event highlights the wonderful craft presence in this area,” says Fain. “American Craft Week is a way to draw attention and bring awareness to the talent both in WNC and across the country.”
Wood artist Alicia Williams of Heartwood Rocking Horses will be participating in We Are American Craft Week as a representing artist for the AAAC. A first-time participant in this event, Williams says that the exhibit makes her feel connected to the community. “Like many artists,” she says, “I work alone in my studio and don’t have a chance to interact with a lot of other artists. This event helps me know that I’m not alone.” While most craft fairs are highly concentrated, short-term events, American Craft Week allows for longer viewing time, multiple venues and different artistic styles. “It gives the sense that the whole country is coming together to celebrate the crafts,” says Williams.
Jess Self of Heart Felt Designs will also be representing AAAC during this year’s exhibit. Self participated in last year’s American Craft Week as part of the WNC Emerging Craft Artist Showcase. “American Craft Week is meaningful to me because it recognizes that my work bridges the gap between art and craft,” she says. “Since I use the process of needle felting to make large-scale sculptures out of wool, I feel that the craft world is a welcoming environment for my work.”
There will be a free opening reception for this exhibit on Friday, October 6, from 5–8 p.m. in the Thom Robinson/Ray Griffin Event and Exhibition Hall.
The Thom Robinson/Ray Griffin Event and Exhibition Hall is located within the Refinery Creator Space at 207 Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville. The Refinery Creator Space is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.