By: Margaret Butler
The Art League of Henderson County just got more touchable — even as it expands its reach at an unprecedented rate. The 200-member-strong organization, which has almost tripled in size in the last two years, recently added a new medium-specific event, a five-day Focus on Fiber Show happening this month at Art on 7th.
The League essentially started out as a watercolor society, says President Diane Dean. Over the years, it branched out to include other 2-D genres, but the pandemic era sparked an explosion both of creativity and of membership, and now, says Dean, “we welcome artists in all visual arts or fine-craft mediums” including clay, jewelry, glass, textiles, wood, photography, digital art, and more. She also notes how many new members are recently moved to the area, “indicative of how Henderson County and the surrounding area is growing.”
A recent educational program at Johnson Farm, featuring six members working in fiber, proved such a success that it was spun into a full-fledged juried show. But it’s hardly the League’s only accomplishment in the past couple of years: Dean lists an expanded board, partnerships with numerous fine-art galleries, growing member showcases, and the implementation of grant-funded workshops.
Next month it’s the revival of the Open Studio Tour, and, further out, a large indoor juried show and posh fundraisers including local kitchen tours. Meanwhile, League coordinators know that fall is the prime time for a warm-fuzzy fiber show, and even in the dog days of early August, in the planning phase, interest was only growing
“This is a members-only show,” remarks Dean, “and as a result we have had five new fiber members join this week alone.”
The Art League of Henderson County hosts the Focus on Fiber Show Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 18 at Art on 7th (330 7th Ave. East, Hendersonville). Opening reception is Friday, Sept. 16, 5-7pm. For more information, see artleague.net, “Art League of Henderson County” on Facebook, or call 828-490-5639.