The 49th Annual Village Art & Craft Fair in Historic Biltmore Village takes place on Saturday, September 11, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, September 12, 12–5 p.m. Featuring high-quality artwork and crafts from 80 exhibitors in a wide range of mediums, the event is sponsored by New Morning Gallery and Bellagio Art to Wear, both located in Biltmore Village. There is no admission fee and the fair will be held rain or shine on the grounds of The Cathedral of All Souls. Homemade refreshments will be available at church-sponsored concession stands, with proceeds benefiting the Cathedral’s outreach program.
“We are excited to be hosting the 49th Village Art & Craft Fair, especially after having to cancel last year’s event,” says Leah Chang, office manager at New Morning Gallery. “We moved the date back this year to allow for extra planning time and, hopefully, cooler weather.”
Artist Marcus Thomas, who paints with a brush held in his mouth after a skiing accident left him paralyzed, has participated in the annual fair for 25 years. “The first time we went to do the show we could not find a place to set up,” says Marcus’ wife, Anne Thomas. “Exhibitors were setting up in their tents so fast in between Marcus sitting in his chair that there wasn’t any room for us to set up. It was a real eye opener. We almost left, but John Cram stepped in and found Marcus a spot that was accessible. If not for him coming to our rescue, we would never have done the show.”
Thomas will bring original oil paintings to the fair, as well as Limited Edition giclée prints, both framed and unframed, and a coffee table book, Flight of the Mind: A Painter’s Journey Through Paralysis, that offers a 25-year retrospective of his life and work. “He always says that there is not enough time on this earth to do all that he wants to do,” says Anne. “Often asked what his favorite painting is, he replies, ‘the one I haven’t done yet.’ He is truly a remarkable person. We tell customers just to stop by and say hello. They don’t need to buy anything. Looking is free.”
Sculptor Benjamin Peterson repurposes found industrial metal objects and combines them with natural rocks to create minimalist works of art. “I love how the natural rock looks with the rustic metal, and I enjoy laying out my vision and then welding it permanently,” Peterson says. “Many of my pieces are kinetic, so with natural breezes, it adds another element of nature.”
Artist Connie Bostic created artwork for this year’s poster and t-shirt design for the long-running festival. Her painting for the fair is in honor of the late Cram, who, as an early Asheville entrepreneur, founded New Morning Gallery, Bellagio Art to Wear and Blue Spiral 1 and, in the meantime, created the Village Art & Craft Fair.
For more information, call 828.274.2831. The Cathedral of All Souls is located at 9 Swan Street in Historic Biltmore Village. Find New Morning Gallery at 7 Boston Way and Bellagio Art to Wear at 5 Biltmore Plaza.