Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tour artist studios on historic Grovewood grounds

There will be 3 opportunities July 16, August 20 and again on October 8 to tour Grovewood Studios, a group of 9 workshops occupied by 12 artists who work across mediums, located on the historic Grovewood grounds adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn. Tours are free and self-guided and will take place from 11am 4pm on all 3 dates.

Grovewood Studios and Grovewood Gallery have a rich craft history. Both are housed in the
former weaving and woodworking complex of Biltmore Industries, built during 1917 1924
by The Grove Park Inn’s architect, Fred Loring Seely. Remnants from this Arts & Crafts enterprise can still be found throughout Grovewood, and the buildings bear the marks of the craftspeople who worked there a lifetime ago. In its heyday, Biltmore Industries had a total of 40 looms in steady operation, producing some of the highest quality homespun fabric in the country worn by U.S. Presidents, First Ladies, movie stars, and sports figures.

Local entrepreneur Harry Blomberg purchased the property in the 1950s, providing the
leadership and resources necessary to keep the fabric business going for several more years. It was his family who established the artist studios and Grovewood Gallery in 1992, carrying on Biltmore Industries’ tradition of supporting local craftspeople. Today, Grovewood’s resident artists create jewelry, pottery, sculpture, and more, in the same workshops where the famed Biltmore Handwoven Homespun was once created.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to connect with local makers,” says Ashley Van Matre, Marketing Manager at Grovewood Gallery. “Visitors will get a behindthescenes
look into the creative workspaces of our resident artists, learn a little about their process, and hopefully gain some insight into the skill and commitment required to make something by hand.”

Grovewood Studios is home to the following artists: 

Chris Abell (flutemaker)
Rick Eckerd (glass artist)
Tom Reardon & Kathleen Doyle (master metalsmiths)
Melissa Engler (fine wood artist)
Daniel Essig (book artist)
Russell Gale (furniture maker)
Lisa Gluckin (ceramic artist)
Graeme Priddle (fine wood artist) 
Helen Purdum (ceramic artist)
Carl Powell (glass artist)
Brent Skidmore (furniture maker and sculptor)

Many of Grovewood’s studio artists spend time away at shows and working on commissions. If you really want to see a particular artist, please call the gallery before you visit to make sure their studio is open, or check the events section of Grovewood’s website at www.grovewood.com/events for a list of participating artists.

Private appointments for studio visits are welcome throughout the year, and can be scheduled through Grovewood Gallery or by contacting the artists directly.

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