Everything You Need to Know About the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community
In a time before email, social media, and mainstream television, folks had to find their own unique way to tell stories and spread messages to one another. Oftentimes this came in the form of folklore, songs, paintings, and other forms of art. Today, we have all the technology we need to instantly connect with one another, but there is still a large community tucked away in the Smoky Mountains that is dedicated to keeping the rich history and culture alive. This community is called the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community.
What Is the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community?
The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is a group of over 120 Smoky Mountain artists and craftsmen. Their talents range anywhere from broom-making to detailed oil painting to detailed hand-sculpted items. Throughout the community, you can take a look at beautiful artwork and sculptures, speak to local artists, purchase art to take back home, and so much more! There are even unique stores and restaurants located along the loop where you can take a break from touring the artwork.
To learn more about the community, watch the video below!
How Did They Get Their Start?
After years of selling wares on the streets of downtown Gatlinburg, in 1937 a group of artisans decided to move their shops and stands a little closer to home and relocated to what is now considered the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. The original band of merchants that inspired the move included John Cowden (woodcarver), Lee Ogle (broom maker), and Noah McCarter (chair maker).
Now, over 70 years later, the community is a thriving part of Smoky Mountain culture, and it’s a popular Gatlinburg attraction for all visitors to the area.
Where is the Attraction located?
The attraction is located just a short 3 miles drive from downtown Gatlinburg. To get there, simply turn at Traffic Light #3 and travel down Highway 321 North.
Free Trolley Rides
You and your family can travel to the community for free by riding the Gatlinburg Trolley. The Gatlinburg Trolley operates on a daily basis, providing visitors with a free way to ride around Gatlinburg. One of the Gatlinburg Trolley routes, the Yellow Route, takes visitors right to the Arts and Crafts Community! This convenient transportation system is great for visitors who want to sit back and enjoy the scenery of the Smokies!
Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair
Although the art community no longer calls the Parkway home, they do return twice a year for a celebration of artisanship with the annual Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Fair. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair welcomes over 200 artists from around the country to come and display their talents for everyone to see and takes place in the summer and the fall.
Along with local and national artists, guests to the summer Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair will also enjoy listening to free country, bluegrass, and gospel bands throughout the day.
While you’re in town exploring the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community, be sure to check out some of the other fun things to do in the area! Take a look at some of the best attractions in the Smokies you will want to visit!