An area with a long and rich history in the arts, Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains is home to dozens of local artists who have spent decades finely tuning their crafts. From woodworking and photography to painting and pottery making, these artists represent the best of the best. You will be completely amazed at the pieces they create, and if you spend a day in the arts, you’re likely to watch them at work. Next time you head to the Smoky Mountains, check out the local galleries, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. You will be blown away by the artistry you find – and you might learn a thing or two!
At the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, artists from beginner to advanced come to learn more about their chosen fields. The studios offer professional equipment, and classes are run by professional and accomplished artisans and craftspeople. Throughout the year, students (locals and tourists) can participate in workshops in:
- Warm glass
- Mixed media
- Metals and jewelry
- Books and paper
Every artist, no matter age or experience, is encouraged to grow in this nurturing environment. The school is open for public visits year-round, where guests can explore the campus and see artwork by artists locally, across the nation, and from across the world. The five galleries at the school change out their exhibitions routinely, and the Marian Heard Library and Resource Center provides information for research and showcases some of the school’s permanent displays. If you need to pick up some supplies or want to buy work from past artists at the school, be sure to visit The Artist Outfitters Store.
The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is another important part of the culture and history of the Smoky Mountains. The historic 8-mile loop is home to many art galleries that feature the work of local artisans who call the area home. It has been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail and was established in 1937. It continues to stand today as a popular Gatlinburg attraction, drawing in thousands of visitors a year. If you’re looking to spend a day in the arts, this is the place to be. The community also holds several craft shows throughout the year at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Find one-of-a-kind gifts and art at the Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas craft shows.
Along the Parkway, many more art galleries can be found. Stroll the Parkway and pop in to one of the many great galleries during your “day in the arts.” You’re likely to find some art to add to your collection, give as a gift, or have as a family heirloom that can be passed down.