The Southern Highland Craft Guild will host the fall edition of its Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands from Thursday, October 17, through Sunday, October 20. Celebrating its 72nd year, the fair will feature almost 180 makers filling the arena and concourse at the US Cellular Center. Six Guild staff members and 45 volunteers work tirelessly to bring this well-loved, bi-annual event to life. Visitors will find both contemporary and traditional work in clay, metal, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media and jewelry. The Guild has also opened up this year’s fair to include a limited number of exhibitors from Piedmont Craftsmen, Carolina Designer Craftsmen, Tennessee Crafts and Kentucky Crafts.
Jewelry artists Kathleen Doyle and Tom Reardon have been participating in the fair for 24 years. Doyle is also on the show committee, which raffles off artwork from members during the fair to raise money for the Guild’s nonprofit arm. “The community and our visitors have always enjoyed meeting and talking with the artisans about their work,” says Doyle. “The connection to our galleries allows them to find our work year round and discover our amazing history as well as other important craft galleries in the region that carry our craft. We know customers reflect happily on the fair and our interactions.”
The fair also features demonstrations, local musicians—some of whom are Guild members—and the opportunity to learn about regional craft schools such as John C. Campbell Folk School, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts and Haywood Community College Craft Program. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.