Visual Arts

Black Mountain’s 21st Annual Art by the Tracks

Black Mountain’s 21st Annual Art by the Tracks

Michael Hamlin, artist

The 21st annual Art by the Tracks, the Black Mountain Old Depot Art and Craft Show, returns to Sutton Avenue on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Art by the Tracks means a lot for Black Mountain,” says show organizer and local potter Sarah Vekasi, “both because it highlights our local art culture and serves as the primary fundraiser for the Black Mountain Old Depot Association’s Heritage Arts Grant Program.” While the event is free to attend, vendor fees raise money for art activities and projects in Swannanoa Valley schools. Last year, more than $7,000 was distributed in Heritage Grants. One student who benefitted from these grants was sixth-grader Bella Hale, whose depiction of a train coming into the Old Depot will be featured on this year’s Art by the Tracks posters. “We are a very artsy family and I’ve been working on art projects since I was little,” says Hale. “When I was little, I would stand at the Old Depot and watch the train go by, so I drew what I remembered.”

Attendees can look forward to music and food under the Old Depot front porch in addition to browsing the stalls of more than 50 artists and craftspeople from all over the region. Mike Hamlin of Hamlin Ceramics, who has participated in Art by the Tracks for the past three years, says the event has improved dramatically. “It has grown quite a bit in its professionalism,” says Hamlin, adding that Vekasi’s infectious enthusiasm for the show has increased its popularity. Hamlin says that the event connects artists and their customers in a unique and intimate way. “Selling through galleries is a wonderful opportunity, but does not provide direct feedback from the buyer to the artists,” he says. “Art by the Tracks offers artists and buyers that opportunity to connect. The buyer has the chance to directly hear from the artist what makes him or her design and create their art.”

For more information, visit or contact Vekasi at

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