Fine Art in the Area

Fine Art in the Area

Art lovers have plenty to admire in the High Country, from local traditional crafts to imported fine arts.


The Appalachian region earned a reputation for its traditional folk art, including such cultural icons as the corn shuck doll, Native American pottery and wood-carved tools and implements, but the reputation has grown through the development of local arts councils and Appalachian State University and Lees-McRae College’s contributions.

The Watauga County Arts Council, located in the Jones House in downtown Boone, features a rotating series of art shows.
Location and Contact:
Watauga County Arts Council
604 West King Street
Boone, NC 28607-3420
Phone: (828) 264-1789

Blowing Rock is featuring its 48thth year of the popular Art in the Park series, with all-day outdoor art exhibits and displays. Each event features over 120 vendors with everything from paintings to jewelry. The shows are held in the American Legion Grounds in downtown Blowing Rock.
For current year schedule please visit:

Nth Degree Gallery and Studios is the High Country’s unofficial underground art gallery and studio is located, appropriately enough, in a renovated studio above Dragon’s Den on King Street. The Gallery, which began as a shared studio space for young artists, has been around for about nine years. Nth Degree eventually began showing the work of new, under-exposed artists. Monthly receptions are held for new exhibits on the first Friday of each month as part of the First Friday Art Crawl Series.
Location and Contact:
The Nth Degree Gallery & Studios
683 W. King Street,
Boone, NC
Phone: 828-264-7429 or 828- 719-9493

The town is also home to a number of galleries both large and small, and has harbored a number of famous painters, including Elliott Daingerfield and Ed Szmyd. The town even has an “Artist’s Alley.”

shoe maker trainAshe County is famous for its murals and the budding art scene in downtown West Jefferson. The Ashe County Arts Council is a frontrunner on the arts scene. . An “earth quilt,” a piece of living public art, can be seen at the Ashe Services for the Aging on Ray Taylor Road in West Jefferson. The downtown area also has four murals.
For more info and current schedule:
Ashe County Arts Council Inc
303 School Avenue
West Jefferson, NC 28694-8046
Phone: (336) 846-2787

The county is also noted for its church frescoes. Noted artist Ben Long painted three frescoes at St. Mary’s in West Jefferson beginning in 1974 with “Mary Great With Child”; in 1975 he painted “John the Baptist” and in 1977, he painted “The Mystery of Faith”. He painted the fresco of “The Last Supper” at Holy Trinity in 1988 as that church building was being restored. It is located behind the altar at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Glendale Springs.

The Avery Arts Council hosts two major events during the summer. ArtsGalore! This long-running art show is featuring a number of arts and crafts vendors in addition to family activities. 10 combines art, music and food for an all-around sensory delight.

Banner Elk has cultivated a reputation for its art galleries. The Avery/Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce hosts two annual arts events in the town. The Fine Arts & Master Crafts Festivals are held at the old Cannon Memorial Hospital Grounds on N.C. 184. The events each feature over 65 vendors.
Contact details:
The Avery Arts Council
630 Shawneehaw Avenue South
Banner Elk, NC 28604-9722
Phone: 828-898-4292

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