Craft Arts

Southern Highland Craft Guild Celebrates 90 Years

Tongues of Fire. Renate Chernoff, artist

Tongues of Fire. Renate Chernoff, artist

In honor of the organization’s 90th anniversary, the Southern Highland Craft Guild will open The Power of Distinction on Saturday, January 25. The exhibition is curated by Nikki Josheff using works from the Guild’s Permanent Collection. The Power of Distinction will run through May 10.

The Permanent Collection includes more than 5,700 works across a variety of media by regional, national and international artists. The collection is divided into seven categories—Guild, Fine Art, Regional, Historical, Tools, National and International—all of which will be represented in The Power of Distinction. The oldest work in the collection is a weaving fragment called “Peruvian Tapestry,” which dates back to between AD 1000 and 1470. The tapestry was gifted to the Guild by former executive director Robert Gray and his wife, Verdelle. The couple acquired the weaving at the World Crafts Council Conference in Lima, Peru in the early 1980s.

“Contemporary artists are still making traditional objects by hand using new techniques, skills and materials,” says Josheff. “Their work is greatly influenced by twentieth- century art movements, formal education and objects praised in modern galleries and museums. The SHCG’s Permanent Collection is a visual record of this passage of time.”

SHCG is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1930 to “cultivate the crafts and makers of the Southern Highlands for the purpose of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation.” The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through March. Learn more at

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