The New York Times has called it “the most important weekend of the year for Arts and Crafts collectors.” And it only happens in one place—Asheville.
For the past 32 years, Arts and Crafts enthusiasts from Seattle to Miami, San Diego to Boston, and points in between have converged on the Omni Grove Park Inn for the National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows held the third weekend in February. Asheville residents from the Montford, Kenilworth, Biltmore, Norwood, Grove Park and surrounding neighborhoods, where the Arts and Crafts style helped shape the architecture and history of the city, also turn out for the event.
This year, the shows at the Omni Grove Park Inn are open to the general public each afternoon on Friday, February 15, from 1–6 p.m.; Saturday, February 16, from 12–6 p.m.; and Sunday, February 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for all three days is $10, and there will be free outdoor parking and three hours of free garage parking.
In 1900, having grown tired of expensive Victorian mansions and their ornate furnishings, a rising middle class embraced the Arts and Crafts bungalow. Cozy, easy to maintain and inexpensive to build, the classic bungalow featured a wide front porch, hardwood floors, a fireplace and an open floor plan, which did not require servants. Inside, owners decorated with art pottery, Mission-style furniture, woodblock prints and hammered copper accessories.
Today’s Arts and Crafts homeowners are no different, and they have discovered that at the National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows they can find the largest display in the country of antiques, reproductions and new works made in the Arts and Crafts style. Exhibitors bring the finest examples of furniture, art pottery, metalware, textiles, rugs, artwork and jewelry from across the country for this one weekend in February.
“Here, just once a year,” founder and director Bruce Johnson says, “one can find reproduction door and cabinet hardware, new rugs and embroidered curtains, matching sets of lights, hammered copper mailboxes, art pottery for tables and tiles for new kitchen backsplashes. And, at the same show, those attending can discover and examine original Gustav Stickley furniture, Rookwood pottery, Roycroft metalware and Arts and Crafts jewelry. There is literally something for everyone, and in every price range, whether it be an original antique or a handcrafted reproduction.”
For additional information on the weekend seminars, demonstrations and tours, and the daily agenda, go to Arts-CraftsConference.com and ArtsAndCraftsCollector.com, or call Bruce Johnson’s office at 828.628.1915.