The streets of Waynesville are lined with galleries and shops, many selling North Carolina arts and crafts. The Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) stands out as it’s a non-profit, volunteer-run gallery that shows and sells artwork from only the western North Carolina mountain region. In 2022, HCAC will celebrate 45 successful years promoting artists, art education, and innovation in art. The gallery is in the heart of downtown Waynesville at 86 N. Main Street. In addition to rotating artist member and specially curated exhibitions, the gallery includes retail space where juried artist members sell their work at reasonable prices, perfect for gifts or vacation souvenirs.
HCAC also sponsors programs and events including the Haywood County Studio Tour, the Junior Appalachian Musicians program, the Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival, and the Quilt Trials of Western N.C. The Studio Tour is a two day event towards the end of September where visitors are welcomed into artist’s studios to see demonstrations, meet the artists, and purchase art. The Junior Appalachian Musicians program teaches youth traditional mountain music on the banjo, guitar, and fiddle. HCAC’s Quilt Block painting studio is located in Waynesville at the Folkmoot Friendship Center where volunteers paint quilt blocks designed by artist members for community member customers throughout the western North Carolina region. Finally, the Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival is HCAC’s annual fundraiser and is a completely music themed event with top notch bluegrass musicians, vendors, food trucks, and activities for family fun.