Every morning, Rachel Clearfield looks at the gorgeous mountains that surround their home in Sandy Mush in Buncombe County’s northwestern corner and feels inspired. As a painter, Clearfield depends on the landscape’s physical beauty to charge her batteries for the day’s work, done in her studio downstairs. “I keep seeing paintings everywhere I look,” she said. “This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I never get tired of painting it.”
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]uch inspiration is why the wide swath of mountains from Brasstown to Boone is full of artists. And that’s why there are so many art festivals in the area. Especially during the warm months, there are plenty of fun-filled choices for someone looking to add to their collection or find something interesting for their home. AmericanStyle Magazine has named Asheville, North Carolina, its number one small city for arts in all of the United States, and that’s largely because of the area artists who show their work at festivals, during studio tours, and in glorious galleries. Their work resonates with many people, but especially with the kind who like working for themselves. Artists and entrepreneurs are cut from the same cloth it seems. “Their brains work the same way,” said Sue Freeman, who organizes the Fine Arts and Master Craft Festival in Banner Elk. “To be an entrepreneur, you have to take risks, just like you do with good art.”
“You have to have that entrepreneurial spirit to make it in the arts,” said April Nance, public relations manager for the Southern Highlands Craft Guild. “You have to be brave to be your own boss. And many of the artists we work with are just great at that.”
So much opportunity, so little time. To help you with yours, here’s a guide to some upcoming area art festivals and events.
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