October is a great month to follow the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority Art Gallery Trail through Hendersonville and Flat Rock. Drawing inspiration from the beauty of the surrounding WNC mountains, regionally and nationally recognized artists present work at a dozen galleries on the route. Visitors can find a trail map at the Visitor Information Center in Hendersonville and online at VisitHendersonvilleNC.org.
“We are somewhat spread out between Hendersonville and Flat Rock so it’s nice to have a visual to show people where the galleries are,” says The Gallery at Flat Rock owner Suzanne Camarata. “There are folks who make it a point to do the trail and are thrilled to see the diversity of prices and talent in the area.”
The Gallery at Flat Rock has a curated collection of work from fine artists including pottery, paintings, photography, handmade textiles, jewelry, glass and wood. The gallery hosts exhibits, talks, trunk shows, music, poetry readings and other events throughout the year in order to engage the community.
“We are off the beaten path so once they find the gallery, visitors are impressed with the variety of work in all price points,” says Camarata. “It is a welcoming space, with a brown dog as a greeter and staff with the knowledge to help folks find what they need for their homes.”
Nearby, Firefly Craft Gallery offers an array of fine art, crafts and gift items with an emphasis on beauty, whimsy and fun. Handmade dolls, driftwood sculpture, scarves and other fiber arts, children’s books and decorative plaques provide gift ideas for everyone.
Sweet Magnolia Gallery in Hendersonville is the studio and store of jeweler Melinda Lawton. The gallery features Lawton’s one-of-a-kind jewelry often made with 14k or 18k gold and a wide variety of gemstones. Lawton does custom designs sourcing any gemstone or working with customers’ own heirloom gems. Since her gallery is also her working studio, many people visit to see works in progress.
“I do feel that people enjoy being part of the process,” says Lawton. “I have gemstones of every color, and can easily create something special to go with a specific dress or outfit or create custom wedding rings for couples.”
Also in Hendersonville, Kelly G. Chelena Fine Art offers work involving process painting and mark making using oil on canvas or watercolor on paper with a focus on nature or introspection. A Walk in the Woods Gallery offers the opportunity to browse through a nature-inspired collection of more than 60 local artists and crafters. Silver Fox Gallery and Interiors represents American artists from all over the country, including local artists, focusing on quality and style.
Find a map and a brochure listing all galleries on the trail at VisitHendersonvilleNC.org.