by Kate Nixon
As the month of February is finally upon us, the Arts & Craft collectors community is gearing up to travel to Asheville, North Carolina – or support at home – to the 37th National Arts & Crafts Conference and Shows at Asheville, North Carolina’s Omni Grove Park Inn. The annual celebration at the Arts and Crafts hotel, whose interiors were decorated with furniture from the Roycrofters in East Aurora, NY, is a favorite of collectors and enthusiasts from all over the country and with a now 37-year legacy, is a celebration-filled weekend. Complete with three selling shows and a fully developed conference with seminars, discussion groups, demonstration, displays and more, February 16th through the 18th means collectors, enthusiasts, the Western North Carolina community, and friends will gather at the Grove Park Inn in one of their favorite weekends of the year.
In particular, three events are beloved by our regular attendees and are fundraisers for three very worthy organizations: The Craftsman Reception (The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms), The Asheville Art Museum presentation (The Asheville Art Museum), and the annual historic home tour (The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County). See our preview below and find out how to purchase tickets!
The Craftsman Reception
Thursday, February 15th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The first celebration for many at the conference, this annual reception features drinks and small plates from the Grove Park Inn’s catering, the chance to sit and talk with friends old and new, and a presentation on Gustav Stickley’s own utopia: The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms.
In a year that has been filled with victories and challenges, the stalwart organization offers their annual Craftsman Reception Thursday, February 15th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm from the Grove Park Inn’s lovely Skyline room. After drinks and dinner, the Craftsman Reception will commence with words from Stickley Museum Executive Director Vonda Givens and a small toast by Conference and Shows Director Kate Nixon. Those in attendance will be treated to a presentation showing the progress of the log house, new updates, and what the future holds for Gustav Stickley’s Arts & Crafts creation.
This annual dinner event kicks off 35 years of the Stickley Museum, so bring your appetite and your support of the Stickley Museum to this kickoff celebration of both the conference and the resilience of the Gustav Stickley legacy.
The cost is $140.00 per ticket and includes drinks and dinner. 100% of the proceeds go to the Stickley Museum’s operations.
Can’t make the conference or the reception? Support the Stickley Museum online as they present their latest online course “Thinking Through Style: Designing America” This online course is run by the museum and its Director of Collections, Jonathan Clancy.
2024 Historic Home Tour
Feb. 17th and 18th, 1-5pm
Another favorite tradition of the conference goers is the Historic Homes Tour, where historic homes in an Asheville neighborhood are opened to the participants to explore the interiors.
This year, the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County is pleased to offer four or more unique historic homes for the Historic Home Tour. The homes on the tour are located in the historic Montford Neighborhood. Planning for the Montford Neighborhood we know today began in 1889 as Asheville’s first electric streetcar suburb by the Asheville Loan, Construction and Improvement Company. Development proceeded slowly until business tycoon George W. Pack took over the enterprise. The sprawling and irregularly shaped residential neighborhood grew to include a collection of houses representing a variety of architectural styles from the early twentieth century, which are included on this tour.
Participants should be able to walk up to three city blocks and negotiate stairs and public walkways. The tour transportation will run approximately every 30 minutes starting at 1:00 pm (last shuttle leaves at 3:30 pm) so that you can do the tour between your other conference activities. Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes, for some walking may be required between the bus and each stop.
Tickets can be purchased online using the link below and a Preservation Society table will be available in the Sammons wing during Conference weekend for those who want to sign up for tours last minute.
The Asheville Art Museum Special Presentation:
A New Approach to the Art of Arts & Crafts with Mike McCue
Feb. 17th, 3-4pm
Longtime attendees have known annual discussions on the art of the movement. What really does put the Art in Arts & Crafts? Perhaps the definition of the Arts and Crafts movement needed clarity with some folks. At least with scholar, speaker and collector Mike McCue, it took a move to Asheville before an understanding set into place.
“What brought me to the realization of the Arts and Crafts movement was really moving to Asheville years all those years ago,” said McCue. “We really thought of the Victorian style as being associated with a historical look, but there was no understanding of what Arts and Crafts was.”
To cut through the gibberish, join Mike McCue for a behind-the-scenes program and view rare and unique artworks from the Museum’s Collection. McCue’s approach to the “A” in Arts & Crafts will help you understand what actually was happening during that fascinating era in America. The presentation will include a presentation with photography, fine art, prints, etchings, and books showing a wide array of examples defining the Arts & Crafts from the Beaux Arts style and from Modernism. McCue will show examples of Roycroft books and examples from Roycrofter Lawrence Mazzonovich, photography from Asheville’s George Masa, works from Madeline Yale Wynne and many more.