Arts Craft Arts

Krafthouse 2023: Forest of the New Trees, an Immersive Installation at Center for Craft

Photo by Gabe Swinney, courtesy of Center for Craft

The Center for Craft announces Krafthouse, a new immersive art installation, made for and by the community, that will evolve and change each year at 67 Broadway in Asheville.

“We are excited to invite audiences into our ‘house’ to learn more about the possibilities of craft,” says the Center’s executive director Stephanie Moore. “Krafthouse celebrates the creativity of Asheville makers and encourages discovery.”

Local artist Jeannie Regan leads the inaugural year as creative director with the vision for Krafthouse 2023: Forest of the New Trees. Between September 28 and October 13, a ticketed installation changes nightly, as artist and audience participation weave a story of radical collaboration in Appalachia in the aftermath of a mysterious, world-changing event.

Graphic by Futures Bright

For the project, Regan drew upon an examination of the Afro-Futurist aesthetic in Marvel’s Black Panther movie while teaching theater design at Warren Wilson College. With her students, she had discussed what an Appalachian-Futurist design might look like.

“I knew that ‘Appalachian-Futurism’ would be a great jumping-off point that could support the Center for Craft’s mission and be enticing to visitors,” she says. “Since that initial conversation, a lot of talented people have expanded and developed the theme into what is going to be an incredible event.”

In the spirit of immersive performances, events and installations like Meow Wolf, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More and Burning Man, Krafthouse 2023: Forest of the New Trees invites self-guided exploration of a strange, new landscape and its imagined ecologies and societies, including cultures, customs and micro-currencies.

Selected local artists working with Regan and Center staff will each interpret the theme in their own way. The end result will be the creation of a small, self-sustaining community that has made itself anew. A night market atmosphere will welcome visitors, who will be able to make, gift and trade goods with the artists and each other, with the opportunity to take home keepsakes, as well as leave their own imprint on the space.

Visitors may participate and collaborate to the extent they wish. Guests are invited to come in costume to share their own interpretation of the post-major event, and to bring any of their own offerings for the space. Costumes and materials will also be available onsite for people who would like to step into this new reality more fully when they arrive.

“It is my hope that guests will visit more than once,” says Regan, “and on their subsequent visits they will develop their own storyline and costume, and make their own items to trade which will expand our multi-layered universe.”

A Benefit Preview for friends of the Center for Craft will open the inaugural installation on Saturday, September 23, from 6–9 p.m. Guests will have first access to the installations and be treated to drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a DJ and a photo booth.

Tickets ($15) include a self-guided tour of the installation, which runs from September 28 through October 13 on Thursdays and Fridays from 5–8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 2–4 p.m. and 6–9 p.m. Tours depart every 10 minutes. The experience takes approximately 30 minutes.

Leave a Comment