Well, after waiting 29 years and 51 weeks, the 30th National Arts and Crafts Conference has arrived at the historic 1913 Grove Park Inn overlooking Asheville, North Carolina.
Starting Monday, in my Little Journeys column just below this, I will write a brief, daily, behind-the-scenes report on what is happening at the Grove Park Inn, both for those of you who will soon be arriving and for those of you who won’t be able to make it to this landmark event. Just to give it a little perspective, this Arts and Crafts conference has lasted twice as long as Gustav Stickley made Arts and Crafts furniture or William Grueby turned out matte green pots.
We still have a ways to go to match the Roycrofters, who lasted an amazing 43 years in East Aurora before finally falling prey to the Great Depression.
But we might just make it there.
While the Grove Park Inn has been sold out for several weeks, there is always the chance of a last minute cancellation, so call 828-252-2711 and ask for Group Reservations to find out. But February is a slow month for Asheville hotels, motels and B&B’s, so there is no shortage of lodging options.
And the Grove Park Inn is no more than 15 minutes away from any of them.
If you stay elsewhere and want to attend all of the six seminars, daily Small Group Discussions, three different artisans’ demonstrations, GPI walking tours, two champaign receptions, and get a tote bag, 88-page Conference Catalog, and the 2017-2018 Arts and Crafts Calendar, call us at 828-628-1915 to register for just $150 for all three days’ events.
Or you can just shop the shows with more than 115 exhibitors – both antiques dealers and contemporary craftsfirms – for just $10 ($5 for students), and your ticket is good for all three days, so you can come back and back and back.
Plus outdoor parking is free – as are the first three hours in the two indoor parking garages.
It’s no wonder the New York Times deemed this “the most important weekend of the year for Arts and Crafts collectors.”
And this is for people at any level of collecting, from just finding a darling framed tile to hang on your wall to looking for an Arts and Crafts bookcase – old or new. Everything you could imagine that is Arts and Crafts will be in just one place the entire year, and that place is the Grove Park Inn this weekend.
But it only happens once a year. And next February is a long time to wait.
Besides, it will be over sixty degrees and you can be basking in the sunshine on the Sunset Terrace, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
Which is really what this weekend is all about.
Come and enjoy a weekend like no other you can find in an entire year.
An early blossom in honor of Arts and Crafts week. Photo by Leigh Ann Hamon-Johnson.