Pearson’s Falls, Nina Simone & International Horse Shows
Just easy 45-minute drive south of Asheville, and only an hour-and-a-half west of Charlotte, you will find lovely Polk County. With breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and excellent outdoor experiences, the natural offerings have called visitors to this special part of Western North Carolina for over a century. The small towns provide locally owned accommodations, fine dining and drink, along with a vibrant craft community. The people who call Tryon, Saluda, and Columbus home have nurtured a culture of creativity in everything – from growing grapes to horse shows, music, and a historic toymaker industry. Tryon was even the birthplace of Nina Simone, the “High Priestess of Soul”!
At Dacey Porcelains, Doug Dacey employs a career’s worth of knowledge in ceramics as he creates his naturally inspired pots with unique color and textures.
Ben Seymour keeps music history alive at Kudzu Patch Productions. Ben can build many instruments, but he’s an expert on all things dulcimer as well as being one of the few remaining makers of the traditional Galax style of dulcimer.
BJ Precourt calls himself a folk carver. His work brings the stories and characters in his mind to life with his characteristic style and aesthetic.
Upstairs ArtSpace was founded in an “upstairs” bedroom of a local artist, but today it’s a beautiful facility on the main street with 3,000 square feet of space to show and sell fine, handmade craft.
Nest Artisan Market was once a pharmacy with a snack and soda bar where F. Scott Fitzgerald hung out! Today you can find a vast array of handmade craft in this lovely open space.
Tryon Painters & Sculptors is an arts and craft cooperative that’s been in operation for more than 50 years. Members can show work in the gallery and take classes in a range of styles and techniques. Anyone can enjoy the shop of member creations!
Saluda Forge looks over downtown Tryon, offering the wonders that blacksmithing holds. Bill Crowell is a master. He produces multiple product lines and intricate custom work.
At S. Oliver Pottery, Sam Oliver creates work full of patterns and color. The floral motifs in much of her work were inspired by the favorite dishware of her childhood.
Tryon Fine Arts Center: The Tryon Fine Arts Center is a magnet for artists and art lovers. The Center is committed to life-long education in the arts for all members of our community. The building houses a large auditorium, classroom space, meeting rooms, and a gallery with informative and entertaining exhibitions.
Tryon Arts & Crafts provides a wealth of classes and studio space for artists pursuing all aspects of craft. Resting in a beautiful valley rimmed with high ridges, the former school facility features a gallery, multiple instructional options, and an artisan retail shop.
Heartwood Contemporary Crafts Gallery is full of light and color. This gallery features some of the best contemporary craft from across the country.
Resources for more information:
First Peak of the Blue Ridge – Official Visitor Center for the Area
The Purple Onion – Saluda
The Rural Seed – Columbus
Block House Steeplechase – Green Creek, April
Saluda Arts Festival – Saluda, May
Fabulous 4th Celebration – Columbus, July
Coon Dog Day – Saluda, July
Tryon International Film Festival – Tryon, October
Tryon Beer Fest – Tryon, November
Shadrack Holiday Light Show at Tryon International Equestrian Center – Mill Spring, Nov-Jan