Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Small Business of the Month: Grovewood Gallery
The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to recognize Grovewood Gallery as Small Business of the Month.
Grovewood Gallery, which will mark its 25th anniversary in 2017, is a nationally recognized gallery that showcases fine American art and craft. The gallery is housed in the historic weaving and woodworking complex of Biltmore Industries, adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn in north Asheville.
"We are proud that we have carried on Biltmore Industries’ tradition of supporting local craftspeople," said Ashley Van Matre. "Buy something handcrafted and/or local and you’ll help make a positive impact on people, your community and the environment."
The property, which includes six English cottages, was constructed by Fred Seely Jr. (son-in-law of Edwin W. Grove) to house Biltmore Industries after he purchased the business from Edith Vanderbilt in 1917. 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. Biltmore Handwoven Homespun was 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 Grovewood Gallery in 1992, and continues to run it to this day.
Grovewood is also home to Asheville’s only Antique Car Museum, the North Carolina Homespun Museum (which gives an historical overview of Biltmore Industries), Golden Fleece Restaurant, 9 working artist studios, and an outdoor sculpture garden. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Grovewood also has a sister gallery, Gallery of the Mountains, located just across the street inside The Grove Park Inn.
"In addition to the many local artists and craftspeople that we represent, we are always open to joining forces with other Asheville area organizations that have similar core values and want to reach a wider audience and further each other’s businesses," Van Matre said.
Grovewood partners with local non-profits a couple of times during the year to host either a charity sale or a benefit. Earlier this year, the organization partnered with The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) to help raise money for free public programming at Benchspace Gallery & Workshop, CCCD’s exhibition space in downtown Asheville. Grovewood also recently hosted a benefit and adoption drive for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.
"We feel strongly about both of these organizations and are really proud of the work they are doing for the Asheville community," Van Matre said.
Plans are underway for the 25th anniversary celebration in 2017, which will include an outdoor sculpture exhibition, special artist demonstrations, live music and food. 2017 will also mark the centennial of Biltmore Industries’ home at Grovewood. In preparation of this milestone, Grovewood has been going through a rebranding process in an effort to unify all of its entities. The campus will start its transformation with an improved wayfinding system and a reinterpretation of the Homespun Museum into a museum/visitors center in early 2017.