Artists have long flocked to this corner of the Blue Ridge, attracted to the stunning mountain vistas and sublime forests.
A day’s exploration of Brevard and Transylvania galleries and reveals a wide range of nature-inspired art, whether your taste runs from contemporary chic to country craft.
The first dozen stops on Adventure Brevard’s Transylvania Tour des Arts are a walking tour of downtown, starting from the junction of Main and Broad streets. Then you’ll hop in your car to check out a couple hot spots in town, then out along both and 64 and 276.
NAVIGATE: Park your car and navigate to the corner of Main and Broad streets, (across from the Courthouse clocktower).
(Click the gallery name for more details, a map and directions.)
Start with a Walking Tour of Downtown Brevard
NAVIGATE: Your starting point is on the northwest corner of Main and Broad streets.
The spacious, light-filled gallery on the corner of Main and Broad streets is the result of weeks of donated renovation labor in 2017 by the 35 artists of No. 7 Arts. You’ll find paintings, watercolors, prints, scupture, ceramic art, textiles, furniture, jewelry and discoveries in every size, color and price range.
NAVIGATE: Head west on Main Street to the middle of the block.
NAVIGATE: Head west on Main Street to the middle of the block.
An eclectic gallery of art, craft, vintage finds and collectibles. The long space houses work from 40 local and 40 national artisans in an amazing collage of mediums and crafts. Notice the bar in the front corner? For $1 you can join the club (totally legit) and have a brew or glass of wine. Desserts also available. Always interesting folks to chat with.
NAVIGATE: Head west again on Main Street, cross at the light at Caldwell and continue for a half block.
A minimalist gallery housed in the former Brevard Fire Station, originally built in 1926. Opened in 2006 by gallery owner and painter Drew Deane, whose iconic retro motel and sign paintings regularly share the gallery with Mad Hatter Mosaic Mirrors, along with exhibitions of work by fine artists from across Western North Carolina.
NAVIGATE: Cross Main Street and Caldwell Street to head east back toward the clocktower. You’ll find Gra*vy in the first block west of the clocktower on the south side of Main Street.
An artisian and and retail market that benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Transyvania County. The more than 70 vendors and dealers offer an eclectic and unexpected variety of goods, many unique to the region, for kids, women and men, kitchen, home and garden. Definitely worth the stop.
NAVIGATE: Head east on Main Street a dozen feet.
Brevard’s newest working studio is the primary production studio of resident potter Suart Howe, who creates and fires stoneware in the Main Street space. The gallery features a variety of functional and affordable ceramics and art by other locat potters: Klayton Huff and Molly Brouwe of Pantertown Pottery, Will Dickert Ceramics of Asheville and Graham McGoogan of EGM Woodworks.
NAVIGATE: Continue east on Main Street to the corner or Main and Broad Street. Turn right, south, on Broad street and walk halfway down the block to Local Color.
One of the funnest and funkiest artisan spaces in Brevard, owner Paul Hawkins offers a unique mix of wares from 150 artists and consignees. Check out the gear-engaged switchplates and can-art wall decor, to name a couple. Worth a stroll.
NAVIGATE: Continue south on Main Street to the corner of Jordan and Main streets and turn right on Jordan Street. Walk halfway down the block to Starfangled Press.
A printmaking studio, gallery and storefront, hand-printing apparel, note cards, prints and tote bags in small inked batches owned by artist Kristen Necessary.
NAVIGATE: Continue a few dozen feet on Jordan Street to Aura Gallery & Studios.
A collaborative studio and gallery in a multi-use art space featuring Billy Smith, Bonita Shipman jewelry and apparel, Angela Cunningham, Grey Freeman Designs, Ashley Wright and guest artists.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Aura Gallery & Studios walk across the street to Jordan Street Arts.
A group gallery featuring paintings, prints, jewelry, pottery and more from local artists.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Jordan Street Arts retrace your steps on Jordan Street to the corner of Jordan and Broad streets and turn right (south), to Dragon Fly Gallery, the second storefront.
Art gallery and gift store filled with delightful discoveries from local artists, hand-crafted stained glass lamps, pottery, jewelry and unique gifts. Rebecca is a remarkable watercolorist who also offers classes.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Dragonfly Gallery retrace your steps to the corner of Jordan and Broad streets and cross to the other side of Broad Street, where you’ll find ArtWorks in the middle of the next block.
ArtWorks is an intimate working studio and gallery tucked into a small storefront in the heart of downtown Brevard. Tiny pastel renderings of birds and mountain vignettes, handcarved wood animal sculptures and colorful oil paintings, prints and collages from several resident artists fill the light-washed space.
NAVIGATE: Leaving ArtWorks continue back toward the clocktower and the corner of Main and Broad streets. Turn right (east) on Main Street to Red Wolf Gallery, the second storefront.
A compact gallery filled to nearly the ceiling with abstract and nature-inspired paintings, wood sculpture, jewlery, baskets and ceramic art. Home gallery of artists Ann DerGara, Eric DerGara and Kim DerGara.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Red Wolf Gallery continue east on Main Street several storefronts to the Gallery at 36, just before Jaime’s Brasserie.
The Gallery at 36 features the art of Jerry Domokur, Judith Duff, Seungho Yang, Shozo Michikawa, and George Raeder.
Two More Stops About Town
NAVIGATE: After leaving Gallery at 36 head back to your car and travel north on Broad Street to the first light at French Broad Street. Turn left (west) and travel three blocks to the Lumberyard Arts District. Turn left on Railroad Avenue, then left again on King Street to park in front of the Haen Gallery at Lumberyard Arts.
A contemporary art gallery in a repurposed lumberyard. Gallery owner Chris Foley, who owns Haen Gallery in Asheville and lives in Brevard, was the first to take a chance on what could be an arts district in 2013. He features local, national and international artists with a keen appreciation for the natural world. The Lumberyard gallery, with its distinctince brick mural and outdoor sculptures, has since been joined by a new restaurant, bike shop and architectural salvage warehouse in the remaining lumberyard buildings. Musical and art events in the outdoor courtyard contribute to the fresh vibe.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Lumberyard Arts, follow King Street back to Caldwell Street and turn right. Follow Caldwell Street through downtown and numerous lights to Transylvania Council for the Arts, set back from the street on your left.
A bit off the beaten path in a renovated church two minutes from downtown you’ll find the calm and serene TC Arts Gallery. Nicknamed “TCarts” by locals, the county-supported gallery is worth the wander for a diverse selection of high-quality art from regional artists, with up to 12 exhibitons a year of fine and folk arts, painting, photography, sculpture, wood and mixed media.
64 West of Brevard: A Couple Minutes to More Art and Fine Antiques
NAVIGATE: Leaving T Carts continue south on Caldwell several blocks until it merges with West 64. Follow West 64 for about a mile, where you’ll see Coffee cARTs, a funky red building on the left.
A coffee cafe focused on conversation and creation — hence the ‘arts’ in cARTS. Homey, quirky atmosphere with comfy, mismatched furniture and lots of local arts and crafts on sale. Classes with artist Billy Smith taught in the adjacent studio. Yummies to eat and drink.
NAVIGATE: After refueling with air-pressed coffee and fresh pastries continue west on 64 a few hundred feet to the John Reynolds Antique Shop, with “ANTIQUES” on the roof.
Fine antique and custom jewelry, china, glass, linens and silver for the discerning collector from a couple who have been in the business for 40 years.
276 South of Brevard: A String of Studios to South Carolina
NAVIGATE: Leaving Reynolds Antiques, retrace your route back toward downtown on 64, turning left onto Broad Street at the light in front of the Sunset Motel. Continue to the clocktower at Main Street and turn right to follow 276 south out of town.
Almost immediately after you cross over the Wilson Road bridge you’ll spot a large red sign on your right for Duckpond Pottery.
A quirky little shop tucked between the French Broad River and Greenville Highway a couple miles south of downtown Brevard. Artists Nick and Jennifer Friedman craft sophisticated pottery, sculpture and architectural elements on site and to order.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Duck Pond Pottery continue south on 276 where in a few miles Mountain Forest Studio will sneak up on your left after a stand of woods.
Slow down or you’ll miss it. The studio for potter Mary Murray and gallery for her husband and painter, Tim Murray, and numerous regional artists. The 1880s pebble-dash farmhouse creaks as you explore two floors of functional and fun pottery, paintings, folk art, sculpture, drawing, jewelry and quilts.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Mountain Forest Studio continue south on 276 where in a few miles Mud Dabbers will pop up in a shady spot on your left.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Mountain Forest Studio continue south on 276 where in a few miles Mud Dabbers will pop up in a shady spot on your left. | Photo: Mud Dabbers
The first clue you’re about to stumble on this cool roadside discovery is the road sign warning “Area congested on Saturdays.” Beautiful, functional and whisical pottery for your home and yard. One of the largest selections of Western North Carolina mountain-made pottery from more than 25 potters. Whimsical note: Everyone local pronounces the name “Mud Daubers” although it’s clearly not spelled that way.
Walter Cantrell’s Antiques
NAVIGATE: Leaving Mud Dabber’s continue south on 276 for a third-mile where Walter Cantrell’s Antiques will be a gray building up on your left.
Another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it roadside stop. The dusty display room fronts the woodworking shop where all the action is, but a careful tour can yield a variety of interesting finds. Not your typical antique shop.
NAVIGATE: Leaving Walter Cantrell’s Antiques continue south on 276 for 6.5 miles to Cedar Mountain where you’ll find the Blue Moon Studio at the intersection of 276 and Cascade Lake Road.
Blue Moon Art Gallery celebrates the artistic energy and creations of local and regional artists in a bright revived space. Featured artists: Rob Travis Photography (mountain and nature photography), Hanes Hoffman Jr. (copper wildlife sculpture), Lucy Clark Pottery, and Raymond M. Byram (Appalachian forest-inspired oil paintings.)
CELEBRATE! From Cedar Mountain you have several options to finish off your day. Turn on Cascade Lake Road for a hike in Dupont State Forest, where you can see majestic waterfalls. Or head back into Brevard for dinner, a brew and music.