Late local visionary John Cram, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, launched the Village Art & Craft Fair 50 years ago, when Asheville was still a sleepy mountain town. His legacy lives on through the widely celebrated event, which today draws thousands to Biltmore Village to browse the juried collections of more than 100 acclaimed artists.
Newly moved to more climate-comfy September after decades being slated for August, the show features paintings, ceramics, fiber art, garden art, and more — including unique handmade jewelry from Asheville’s Amy Brandenburg. She got hooked on jewelry making during summer camp at age 10 — which ignited her passion for crafting three-dimensional works of art intended for personal adornment.
Brandenburg now embraces historical Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau styles — which aligns her work perfectly with the Village Art & Craft fair, which is the heart of Asheville’s Arts and Crafts district. Her beautiful pendants, earrings, and bracelets are inspired by nature and executed with flowing lines, lovely colors, and elegantly balanced designs. She also creates adorably wearable miniatures of historic houses, castles, birdhouses, and dog houses individually hand sculpted using a special metal-infused clay. The tiny pieces have wonderful, architecturally accurate details that give them a magical quality
Another exhibitor, Randy Hintz of Refined Rustic Woodworks of Weaverville, makes a variety of handcrafted furniture and lifestyle items, including fine custom work. He’ll be on hand with live-edge side tables, framed ceramic tiles, clocks, lamps, and his most popular craft-fair items — live-edge serving trays, some of them laser etched with imagery.
“I’ve lived here for 32 years,” Hintz says, “and for as long as I can remember, the Village Art & Craft Fair has been THE show … both as an artist and as a shopper. Both the variety and the quality of the art in the show truly set it apart from the rest.”
The 50th Anniversary Village Art & Craft Fair takes place “rain or shine” on Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11 on the grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village. Amenities include off-site parking, shuttle service, and homemade food and drink (sales from refreshments helps support various outreach programs). For more information, visit newmorninggallerync.com.