The first meeting of the year opens with a Friday evening reception in conjunction with visiting a private folk art collection and the Objects of Art Gallery. Saturday focuses on a docent-led tour of the exhibition Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor and the world premiere screening of the film Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker Jeffrey Wolf at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). The day concludes with a self-guided tour of SAAM’s folk and self-taught art collection. A buffet lunch at SAAM and plated dinner at the group hotel are planned.
This meeting features a visit to folk artist woodcarver B.J. Precourt. He provides a tour of his historic log cabin home and workshop in his barn followed by an opportunity to browse his studio of imaginative woodcarvings. A BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) lunch is enjoyed on the grounds before heading to Tyson Graham Pottery for the annual Little Mountain Festival which includes a kiln opening, guest artists, live music, and refreshments. Once in the village of Tryon, Will Barclift, the new Tryon Arts and Crafts School Executive Director, provides an introduction to the Southern Highland Craft Guild Heritage Show. A visit to a private folk art collection precedes a buffet BBQ dinner at folk artist David Cedrone’s Whimsical World Gallery located in a converted church sanctuary with special guest folk artists Chuck Mattern and Toby Wolter.
A hot Saturday in August finds this meeting mainly indoors at the McKissick Museum on the campus of the University of South Carolina to tour two exhibitions including Swag & Tassel: The Innovative Stoneware of Thomas Chandler and Place It/Face It: Pottery by Eugene. A catered lunch at the museum takes place in conjunction with a Billy Ray Hussey Pottery kiln sale. A visit to Thomas Humphries, a self-taught artist who uses found metal objects to create sculptures, is followed by a BBQ dinner at a lakeside private residence to round out the day.
The newly opened Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and downtown Wilson in general are the centerpieces of this meeting starting with an indoor talk followed by a BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) lunch enjoyed in the park (or inside if the temperature is too hot outside) and a guided walking tour of the park. The next talk provides an introduction to Eyes on Main Street. A walking tour of downtown Wilson includes stops at Artisan Leaf, Ina’s Garden and Pottery Gallery, and Art Ventures. A very short drive to Mark Gordon’s pottery studio finishes the day’s art adventures. Dinner at Da Bayou marks the official ending to the day, but staying after dinner for a drink at 217 Brew Works across the street from the park is an option. Once darkness falls, visit the park again for a different experience with a nighttime view of the whirligig reflectors aglow by spotlights.
The final meeting of the year begins in downtown Newton with attendance at the annual outdoor Foothills Folk Art Festival surrounding the 1924 Courthouse that houses the History Museum of Catawba County where a private tour of the Museum's collection takes place before leaving for Hickory to visit a large outdoor private collection of Ken "Kenny Bill" Broderick's folk art sculptures. The day continues at the Hickory Museum of Art with a short performance from the modern ragtime composer David Thomas Roberts followed by a brief introduction to the exhibition New Horizons: Self-Taught Art in the 21st Century curated by long-time North Carolina Folk Art Society members Robert and Margaret Allen during the exhibition opening reception. Dinner at Café Gouda concludes the day.
This summer meeting in the mountains covers stops in Linville and Banner Elk. A visit to Webb's Rock Shop in Linville includes a special sale and brief talk from potter Richard Wright. Lunch follows down the street at Old Hampton Store and Grist Mill and then a tour of 87 Ruffin Street Gallery next door. A visit to Art Cellar Gallery in the neighboring town of Banner Elk rounds out the day with dinner at Banner Elk Café.
This May meeting begins at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in uptown Charlotte for a tour of the Center's current exhibitions and folk art before venturing north to Huntersville to tour Foster's Frame & Art Gallery and visit with artist Nellie Ashford. The day concludes with a tour of an extensive private collection of African and African-American 20th century art and contemporary folk art before dinner at Hickory Tavern.
The final meeting of the year begins with a morning visit to the new Small Museum of Folk Art followed by lunch on the premises at the Small B&B Café. An afternoon visit to W. M. Hewitt Pottery for the second weekend of Mark Hewitt's December holiday kiln opening also includes a presentation from Mark and a studio tour. The day concludes with stops at William Ivey Southern Antiques to shop and William Ivey's residence to view his private collection of North Carolina furniture, pottery, and longrifles followed by dinner at a local establishment.
This August adventure includes a presentation on the Paradise Garden Foundation and its efforts to restore Howard Finster's Paradise Garden by Executive Director Jordan Poole, a tour of the High Museum of Art's folk and self-taught art collection led by Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art Katherine Jentleson, a tour of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation's African-American folk art collection led by Exhibitions and Special Projects Manager Laura Bickford, and opportunities to view two private folk art collections plus enjoy three meals at local establishments.
Saturday's A Day in the Country Folk Art Fair kicks off with a Friday evening reception for the Mark Francis exhibition at the Kentucky Folk Art Center followed by dinner at Melini Cucina Italian Restaurant. After a full day attending the Fair on Saturday, dinner will be served at a nearby private residence.
There is plenty of folk art fun to experience in the foothills during a tour of a private folk art collection over a BBQ lunch, private kiln opening at Steve Abee Pottery, two folk art gallery visits to Cher Shaffer Studio Gallery and Frye Art Studio with additional folk artists present with works for sale, and dinner at 1841 Café.
The weekend begins with a welcome reception and private viewing of the Sam Doyle exhibition at the York W. Bailey Museum at Penn Center Friday evening. Saturday's 3rd Annual Sam Doyle Folk & Gullah Cultural Arts Festival at Penn Center features a lecture by Dr. Dale Rosengarten on sweetgrass basketry, a demonstration and discussion of the art of sweetgrass basket weaving with master weaver Nakia Wigfall, a discussion with Gullah folk artist Rev. Johnnie Simmons, and a lecture by Penn Center Director of Development & Community Outreach Victoria Smalls on Sam Doyle. A Lowcountry lunch is served on site. A visit to The Red Piano Too Art Gallery rounds out the day before dinner at Sweetgrass Restaurant.
The day begins at the Tryon Arts & Crafts School to view the Harvest Hearth and Kitchen Show and visit the gift shop. A farm to fork lunch at Harvest House Restaurant is the next stop followed by a visit to Upstairs Artspace to explore the exhibition Why Paper? with time to browse The Nest Artisan Market and Tryon Painters & Sculptors (gallery, gift shop, and studios). Tours of two private folk art collections at Chris and Linda Tinkler's residence and Mills-Screven Plantation will end the day in Tryon before heading to a private residence in Asheville for dinner and entertainment from U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion Jamie Laval showcasing highlights of Celtic music and stories.
This meeting coincides with Tryon Toy Story Weekend which celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Tryon Toymakers and Woodcarvers and starts with viewing the exhibition Wonders in Wood: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Tryon Toymakers and Woodcarvers at Tryon Fine Arts Center. A large part of the day is filled with visits to the studios of potter Toby Wolter, blacksmith Bill Crowell, painter Diana Gurri, and painter/sculptor Bob Neely with a farm to fork lunch at Harvest House Restaurant in the middle. The grand opening reception of the Tryon Historical Museum is followed by a visit to the Tryon Depot Gallery to view Mike Locke's folk art exhibition. Time to enjoy the Studio Stroll as part of the Tryon Toy Story Weekend along Trade Street in the village of Tryon is included before dinner at Stone Soup Restaurant in nearby Landrum.
This meeting focuses on pottery in Seagrove, North Carolina. Members have a sneak peek of the North Carolina Pottery Center’s exhibition Prized Pieces: The Makers Collection that opens later that day and first pick of the mug selection for the 250 Mugs On The Wall joint fundraiser between NCPC and Seagrove Area Potters Association (SAPA). A picnic lunch at Crystal King Pottery is followed by Crystal demonstrating for members in a condensed time frame how she constructs a hand-built lion. She is also firing a load in her family’s salt glaze kiln for a special kiln opening for members with all pieces marked “NCFAS 2015”.
After lunch, Sid Luck demonstrates how he throws a teapot on the wheel at Luck’s Ware and shows us his kiln. The next stop has members admiring the work of seven potters at Bulldog Pottery as Samantha Henneke and Bruce Gholson host their annual weekend of Cousins in Clay complete with a reception in the downstairs of their ultra modern home. Terry and Anna King, Crystal King’s parents, host members at King’s Pottery for a face jug kiln opening. The evening concludes with a visit to Ben Owen Pottery, a seated dinner at Ben Owen III’s home, and Ben presenting an informative talk about clay in the Seagrove area and its importance to how pots are made.
This meeting falls on Valentine's Day and begins at the Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte. Rebecca Elliot, Assistant Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion, gives members private tours of the exhibition Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection and the Mint Museum’s Craft + Design permanent collection. After lunch at Vapiano, members view Martin and Harriet Goode’s private art collection and Harriet Goode’s painting studio in their lovingly restored penthouse condominium located in the former offices of Peoples National Bank on Main Street in historic Old Town Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Dinner is right next door at the historic Five & Dine where on February 12, 1960, nine young black men were denied service at the lunch counter and staged a sit-in to protest. The current restaurant owner kept the lunch counter with the 11 original swivel chairs that customers still use today. Each one bears the name of a different member of the Friendship Nine protestors or their adult leaders to honor their courage in the fight against segregation.