Where to Learn

Whether you're interested in the arts as a career or a hobby, you can pursue your passion no matter who you are or where you live in North Carolina. Two of our state's internationally recognized craft schools offer a universe of classes for participants across a range of skills. Some art schools have kept traditional skills alive for a century; others are associated with local arts councils or community centers. Here are a few of the facilities offering classes this spring.


Western North Carolina

John C. Campbell Folk School
John C. Campbell Folk School
Founded in 1925, the John C. Campbell Folk School in the far western end of the state offers more than 860 one-week or weekend sessions throughout the year in 48 categories including basketry, blacksmithing, calligraphy, dyeing, enameling, lace, leather, metalwork, music, quilting, spinning, woodcarving and unique offerings like cold-cast bronze and chainsaw carving. The school offers on-campus lodging as well as space for campers and RVs. For more information or to register, visit http://www.folkschool.org.


Penland School of Crafts
Penland School of Crafts, about an hour northeast of Asheville, was established in 1929 and  welcomes students from the end of May through the beginning of September to about 100 one- or two-week classes as well as eight-week concentrations in the spring and fall. Classes cover a range of media, including books and paper, clay, drawing and painting, glass, iron, metals, photography, print and letterpress, textiles and wood. Special sessions including puppetry and portraiture, plastics, textiles and sculpture from nature also are offered. The school provides lodging on and near its campus. For more information or to register, visit http://penland.org/.


The Bascom

The Bascom, Highlands
The Bascom art center, a nonprofit visual arts facility in southwestern N.C. near the Georgia border, was founded in 1983 as an exhibition space for works created by regional artists. It opened a new six-acre campus in 2009 and each spring offers 250 classes in weaving, watercolors, fiber, book arts, ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking and other disciplines. It also features eight-week fall sessions. The Bascom offers a series of intergenerational classes designed for children in the company of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. For more information or to register, visit http://www.thebascom.org.


The Piedmont

Sawtooth School of Visual Art
Sawtooth School for Visual Art, Winston-Salem
For more than 65 years, Winston-Salem’s Sawtooth School for Visual Art has offered professional instruction in disciplines including ceramics, glass, graphics, photography, metal, fibers, wood, painting and drawing. Its multicultural curriculum is open to students of all ages, skills and abilities. The Davis Gallery showcases the work of faculty throughout the year and also features an annual exhibition of student work. The historic building, with a roof profile resembling saw tooth blades, was established in 1911 as the original Hanes hosiery factory. For more information, visit http://www.sawtooth.org.


Crafts Center at NCSU

Crafts Center at NC State University, Raleigh
Established in 1963, the Crafts Center at NC State University in downtown Raleigh offers classes in pottery, fiber arts, sculpture, photography, woodworking, lapidary arts, glass, jewelry, metals and more. Classes are offered for all skill levels from beginner to advanced and are open to university students, faculty, staff and the general public. The R.A. Bryan Foundation Gallery, open to the public, features touring exhibitions as well as works by local craftspeople. For more information, visit http://www.ncsu.edu/crafts/index.html.


Eastern North Carolina

Pocosin Arts
Pocosin Arts
Located one block from the Columbia waterfront in eastern N.C., Pocosin Arts offers year-round classes, workshops and residencies in pottery, metalsmithing and jewelry making, carving, book making, weaving, spinning, quilting, embellishing, soap making, glass slumping and fusing, blacksmithing, pit firing, storytelling, dancing and roots music, along with after-school programs in dance, pottery, drawing and guitar. The annual Cabin Fever Reliever, held in partnership with the Rocky Mount Arts Center, brings nationally recognized teaching artists and craftspeople to Columbia every February to conduct workshops in clay, jewelry, wood and mixed media. For more information or to register, visit http://www.pocosinarts.org/.


Cameron Art Museum

The Museum School and The Clay Studio at the Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington
The Museum School at Wilmington’s Cameron Art Museum offers instruction in landscape painting, drawing, paper and book arts, printmaking, silk painting and textiles, ceramics, photography, creative writing and more. Master artist Hiroshi Sueyoshi, a recipient of the 2006 N.C. Living Treasures Award, works in The Clay Studio, established to further the techniques, forms and conventions of clay, while encouraging experimentation in contemporary media, concepts and techniques. For more information, visit http://www.cameronartmuseum.com.


Across the State

Asheville Art Museum
Asheville Art Museum
Other Museums and Galleries
In addition to the Cameron Art Museum, many other N.C. museums and galleries incorporate hands-on craft classes for kids, students and adults in their yearly programming as well as during summer camp season. Explore the offerings at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, the Asheville Art Museum, the Hickory Museum of Art and the Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte. Other venues include Artspace in Raleigh, Green Hill Gallery in Greensboro, Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, Rocky Mount Arts Center and the N.C. Pottery Center in Seagrove. For a complete list of museums and galleries, visit www.ncarts.org.


Montgomery Community College
Montgomery Community College

Community Colleges
North Carolina ’s extensive community college system includes 58 locations. Professional crafts programs at schools like Haywood Community College in Clyde and Montgomery Community College in Troy touch on both the art and business of craft, including technical training, design skills and marketing essentials that will enable graduates to start their own businesses.


Durham Arts Council
Durham Arts Council

Local Arts Councils
Local arts councils frequently offer classes on-site or connect students with local arts organizations and artist programs. Explore the programming at the Durham Arts Council, the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge in Greenville and others in our directory of local arts councils at www.ncarts.org.




The North Carolina Arts Council is a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
Susan Kluttz, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor