Craft Fairs, Festivals and Open Studio Tours

Craft fairs and festivals are lively social events that happen throughout the year and across the state. They are unique opportunities for members of the public to meet craftspeople working in clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry, watch them in action, ask questions about their work and buy their wares. They can also be festive occasions to reconnect with family and friends, or to make new acquaintances.s In addition to annual festivals, which bring artisans together in one place, there are open studio tours which involve driving from artist studio to artist studio across a county or region.

Major Craft Fairs and Festivals


LEAF Festival
May 12-15, 2016 | Oct. 20-23, 2016

Black Mountain College, Black Mountain
The 2016 LEAF Festival highlights the artistry and culture of Cuba through the theme “World Fusion with Cuban Spice.” Festivalgoers can expect live musical performances, dance, poetry, healing arts workshops, family adventure activities, plus much more.


Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
July 21-24, 2016 | Oct. 20-23, 2016

U.S. Cellular Center, Downtown Asheville
Held since 1948, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands showcases the work of members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, who create crafts rooted in Appalachian traditions as well as contemporary works. http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/shops-and-fairs/craft-fair-of-the-southern-highlands/


The Big Crafty
July 2016 | December 2016

Asheville Art Museum, Pack Place & Pack Square, Downtown Asheville
The Big Crafty revives the tradition of the community bazaar, a lively celebration of handmade commerce, featuring local food, beer, music and fine wares from a juried group of select indie artists and crafters. Usually held in July and December. Please check their website for official dates. http://thebigcrafty.com/


East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival
Feb. 5-7, 2016

Harbor District, Downtown Washington
Established in 1996 by the carvers of the East Carolina Wildlife Guild, the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival features a Wildlife Art Show & Sale that showcases carvers, collectors, painters, photographers, sculptors, knife makers, potters, guides, outfitters, custom duck call makers, and more. The three-day event also includes competitions for decoy carving, duck stamps and duck calling; a children’s decoy painting workshop; and multiple demonstrations.


Durham Art Walk Spring Market
April 30-May 1, 2016

Downtown Durham
Presented by the Durham Arts Council, more than 200 artists sell locally made gifts of art including jewelry, scarves, paintings, pottery and more. The walk includes live music performances and food. The Durham Art Walk Holiday Market is usually held in November.


Artsplosure: The Raleigh Arts Festival
May 20-22, 2016

Downtown Raleigh
Founded in 1980, this spring arts festival showcases more than 170 visual arts and crafts exhibitors from across North Carolina and the nation in a juried Art Market, while also offering live music, food, a student art exhibition, aerialists, interactive visual art installations, educational activities and entertainment for families, plus many other events. http://artsplosure.org/raleigh-events/artsplosure-the-raleigh-arts-festival/


Ocracoke Festival
June 3-5, 2016

Ocracoke Village, Ocracoke Island
Celebrating great music, stories and artisans, the three-day Ocracoke Festival is a much anticipated community event with live musical performances, an art auction, a storytelling evening and a fish fry. http://www.ocracokealive.org/ocrafolk-festival.html


Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
Aug. 27-28, 2016
Cary’s Town Hall Campus, Downtown Cary
Since 1976, Cary’s premier Arts & Crafts Festival features the work of more than 300 artists and craftspeople in an arts market street fair, live music, interactive activities for children and food, plus much more. https://www.townofcary.org/Departments/Parks__Recreation___Cultural_Resources/events/festivals/Lazy_Daze_Arts_and_Crafts_Festival.htm


CenterFest Arts Festival
September 2016

Downtown Durham
This two-day art extravaganza features over 140 juried artists and craftspeople across all media from around the country, as well as more than 70 acts performing on 6 stages, hands-on activities for kids and local and international cuisine. Usually held in September. Please check their website for official dates. http://centerfest.durhamarts.org/


John C. Campbell Folk School’s Fall Festival
Oct. 1-2, 2016

John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown
Celebrating Appalachian culture, over 250 craftspeople in every medium showcase their work at this popular annual mountain gathering, which also includes craft demonstrations, children’s activities and music and dance performances.

Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair
Oct. 28-30, 2016

Knobbs Creek Recreation Center, Elizabeth City
An eastern North Carolina institution since 1958, the fair brings together craftspeople of all ages working in fiber, metal, clay, natural materials, wood, glass and other media in a three-day fall event. http://www.albemarlecraftsmansfair.com

Artrageous Art Extravaganza
October 2016

Dare County Family Recreational Park, Kill Devil Hills
Presented by the Dare County Arts Council, the Artrageous Art Extravaganza is an annual arts festival for children, featuring live art demos, kids activities, art vendors, music, dancing, food and fun for the whole family. Usually held in October. Please check their website for official dates. http://darearts.org/programs/artrageous-art-extravaganza/

Festifall Arts Festival
October 2016

West Franklin Street, Downtown Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill’s annual Festifall Arts Festival celebrates artists and craftspeople in all mediums, such as ceramics, fiber art, jewelry, painting, photography, glass, woodworking, and mixed media, in a juried Arts Market street fair. Food and live musical performances are also part of the celebration. Usually held in October. Please check their website for official dates. http://www.chapelhillfestifall.com/


Carolina Artisan Craft Market
Nov. 11-13, 2016

Raleigh Convention Center, Downtown Raleigh
Conducted by the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild since 1970, this premier juried exhibit and marketplace highlights one-of-a-kind fine crafts including pottery, clay, sculpture, wearable fiber, blown glass, jewelry, metal, wood, furniture, photography, printmaking and mixed media in all price ranges. The event also includes artist demonstrations, live music and a special art exhibition. http://carolinadesignercraftsmen.com/the-market/

Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair
Nov. 19-20, 2016
M.C. Benton Convention Center, Downtown Winston-Salem
Meet the craftspeople, talk to them about their work and view demonstrations of craft techniques at this fair, held annually since 1963. More than 130 fine artisans from across the Southeast will exhibit and sell works in clay, wood, glass, fibers, leather, metal, photography, printmaking and mixed media. http://www.piedmontcraftsmen.org/crafts-fair.htm


Boylan Heights Art Walk
December 2016

Boylan Heights Neighborhood, Downtown Raleigh
The Boylan Heights Art Walk is a great way to start the holiday season with more than 100 artists and craftspeople featuring a range of glasswork, jewelry, metalwork, textiles, woodwork, clothing, ceramics, photography, multimedia and paintings. Food is available throughout the day as well. Usually held in early December. Please check their website for official dates. http://artwalk.boylanheights.org/

Major Pottery Festivals


Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival
March 25-26, 2016

Hickory Metro Convention Center, Hickory
Established in 1998, this juried festival brings together more than 115 potters and vendors of antique traditional pottery, contemporary pottery, textiles, folk art and furniture. http://www.catawbavalleypotteryfestival.org


Celebration of Spring in Seagrove
April 16-17, 2016

The Shops of Seagrove
Over 50 individual potteries open their doors for studio tours, kiln openings and demonstrations, showcasing freshly made pottery for sale in the historic Seagrove community. http://discoverseagrove.com/events/


Potters Market Invitational
September 2016

Mint Museum of Art, Randolph Road, Charlotte
More than 50 North Carolina potters sell their vessels and sculptures on the lawn of the Mint Museum on Randolph Road. Enjoy live music, pottery demonstrations and food at this one-day annual event. Usually held in September. Please check their website for official dates. http://www.mintmuseum.org


Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Nov. 5, 2016

More than 40 master potters, juried for the quality of their work, are featured along with demonstrations and other activities. http://www.wncpotteryfestival.com

Celebration of Seagrove Potters
Nov. 18-20, 2016

Luck’s Cannery, Seagrove
Established in 2008, this premier exhibition and sale highlights the traditional and contemporary pottery of the historic Seagrove community.

Durham County Pottery Tour
November 2016

Durham County
This annual event features work from more than 20 potters and two teaching facilities with open studios so that visitors can learn how pottery is made, talk to the potters and purchase locally made pieces. Usually held in November. Please check their website for official dates.

Seagrove Pottery Festival
November 2016

Seagrove Elementary School, Seagrove
For more than 30 years, this annual event has brought most of the Seagrove area potters to one location to sell their handmade pottery and traditional crafts. Usually held the weekend before Thanksgiving. Please check their website for official dates. http://www.seagrovepotterymuseum.net/


Appalachian Potters Market
December 2016

McDowell High School, Marion
Sponsored by the McDowell Arts Council Association, this festival was inaugurated in 1986 and features 66 potters working in traditional and contemporary styles. Usually held the first Saturday in December. Please check their website for official dates.

Major Open Studio Tours


Scenic 276 South Fine Art & Craft Corridor
Brevard to Cedar Mountain
Along a 13-mile stretch of scenic US 276 South, the Fine Art & Craft Corridor features studios and galleries that showcase pottery, photography, glass, wood, paintings, metal work and more that can be visited year-round. http://www.scenic276arts.com


River Arts District Studio Stroll
May 21-22, 2016 | Nov. 12-13, 2016

More than 180 working artist studios in 22 historic, industrial buildings open their doors for this studio stroll featuring glass, musical instruments, wood, clay, recycled furniture, painting, metal, stone, sculpture, jewelry, fiber, mixed media and more. http://www.riverartsdistrict.com


Toe River Studio Tour
June 3-5, 2016 | December 2016

Mitchell and Yancey Counties
Eight galleries and more than 100 artist studios, many of which are not normally open to the public, participate in the Toe River Studio Tour. They represent an array of works in basketry, clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, wood, stone, sculpture, mixed media and books. Usually held in December as well. Please check their website for official dates. http://www.toeriverarts.org/studio-tour/


Open Studio Tour of Henderson County
September 2016

Henderson County
Over 40 participating artists showcase paintings, sculpture, pottery, glass, woodworking, metal, jewelry, glass, fiber and other media during this weekend event. Usually held in September. Please check their website for official dates. http://www.openstudiotourhc.com


Haywood Art Studio Tour
October 2016

Haywood County
Organized by a group of Haywood County artists with the support of the Haywood County Arts Council, the Studio Tour features nearly 40 artists specializing in a variety of mediums, including clay, fiber, wood, jewelry, glass, steel, watercolor, oil, encaustic and acrylic, at more than 20 locations throughout Haywood County. Usually held in October. Please check their website for official dates. http://haywoodarts.org/special-events/

Alamance Studio Tour
October 2016

Alamance County
For two weekends, almost 40 artists with works in clay, jewelry, painting, mixed media, basketry, fiber, photography, wood, furniture, weaving, enameling and metal participate in this annual studio tour where you can meet and talk to the artists, while purchasing their wares. Usually held in October. Please check their website for official dates. http://alamanceartisans.com/studio-tour/


Orange County Artists Guild Open Studio Tour
Nov. 5-6 & 12-13, 2016

Orange County
Originating in 1995, this open studio tour typically features around 80 artists working in a variety of mediums: drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, clay, pottery, ceramics, metal, mixed media/collage, painting and photography. http://www.orangecountyartistsguild.com/tour.php


Chatham Artist’s Guild Studio Tour
December 2016
Chatham County
Founded in 1992 and one of the oldest in the state, the annual Chatham Artist’s Guild Studio Tour features nearly 60 artists working in pottery, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, metal, painting, photography, silk screening, stone and wood. Usually held the first two weekends in December. Please check their website for official dates. http://www.chathamartistsguild.org


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




Orange County Studio Tour