From basement to post office to art gallery
The Wilkes Art Gallery first opened in the basement of local art patron Annie Wrinkle in 1962. Today’s gallery is located in a stately brick building that once held North Wilkesboro’s post office and, later, the town’s library. Today, the 10,000-square-foot building is home to a thriving cultural art center in historic downtown North Wilkesboro.
Monthly exhibitions include at least three different media to make the exhibit more interesting and to provide something for everyone. Check out oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings; sculptures in metal, clay, wood and glass; fiber and paper artwork. Each year these exhibitions represent 100 artists from Western North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina.
There is no end to the variety of creativity found inside in the gallery gift shop: prints, jewelry, pottery, books, food stuffs, baskets, textiles, clothing, stained glass, and more. Gift certificates are available. The gift shop is open during regular gallery hours and during exhibit openings and events.
Four classrooms support a thriving education program. Daily art classes and monthly workshops focus on pottery, watercolors, knitting, basketry, drawing, and jewelry making. Workshops are typically one day; classes run throughout the month. Over 50 artists a year teach workshops and classes. Summers Art Camps are offered to children eager to learn about film, sculpture, glass art, weaving, painting, drawing and pottery.