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Florence Thomas Art School

Florence Thomas Art School painting lesson

Florence Thomas Art School in historic downtown West Jefferson is dedicated to inspiring excellence in the arts through instruction in the fine arts, master crafts, and heritage crafts. It includes the Florence Thomas Gallery and Reception Center, a classroom and weaving studio, lodge, cabins and a gift shop on 10-beautiful acres bordering the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

From May to October, Florence Art School hosts more than 50 one-to-three day workshops, with classes ranging from painting to weaving, handmade paper to digital photography, and creative writing to traditional music, as well as children’s classes.

Founded by an Appalachian Painter

The school was founded in 2007, upon the death of Ashe County native Florence Thomas; a soft-spoken farm woman who was probably the greatest artist – with many hundreds of paintings – the High Country has ever produced.  She captured the soul and the mystery, and ultimately the comfort, of common things-farm animals, flowers, landscapes-found around her rural Appalachian home. A gallery of her works is open year round.

Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds during daylight hours, visit the gallery and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of the area.

Hours of Operation

The Florence Thomas Gallery and Reception Center is open year round (weather permitting), Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Workshops are offered May to October in the Classroom and Weaving Studio 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Preregistration is required.

Admission Fees

Admission to the Florence Thomas Gallery is free.

Special events such as Fiber Demonstration Day, Fibers Market, and Instructor Open Studios are provided free of charge. Up-to-date information is available on the school’s website.  Registration is required for workshops and there is a fee for tuition, optional lodging and lunch.

Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.


Florence Thomas Art School 264 Trading Post Road Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 259. (336) 982-2499


10 S Jefferson AvenueWest Jefferson, NC 28694Get DirectionsPhone: (336) 846-3827Web: http://www.florencethomas.org/Email: info@florenceartschool.org

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