An school of excellence founded by a renowned Appalachian painter
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.
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.
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.
Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds during daylight hours, visit the gallery and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of the area.
For hours, a calendar of events and other news, go to the website.