Art by the Tracks returns for 21st year

From Staff Reports
Black Mountain News| USA TODAY NETWORK

Celebrate the tradition of local arts and fine master crafts from 10 a.m. - 5 -.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the 21st Annual Art by the Tracks, in downtown Black Mountain along Sutton Ave. The juried Black Mountain Arts and Craft Show is hosted by the Old Depot Association, which also runs the Old Depot Gallery, and hosts this biannual show to raise money for art programs in the public schools of the Swannanoa Valley.

Over fifty artists and master crafters have been juried in, and will sell their work during the event. The art show will feature all handmade art, sold by the artisans themselves, including paintings, wearable fiber art, photography, jewelry, pottery, woodwork, folk art, handmade soap and more.

Sculptures by Katherine Owen, who will participate in Art by the Tracks for the first time this year, will among many works available during the event on Saturday, Oct. 27.

What makes Art by the Tracks stand out in Black Mountain are two things: first this is a competitive juried show, which means the artists have to apply to get accepted, and their artwork has to be of a high caliber and sold by the artist them self. This allows the shopper to meet the artist and vice versa.

Secondly, Art by the Tracks is unique in that it serves as the Old Depot’s fundraiser for art in local public schools. All artist booth fees go to support the mission of the Old Depot Association, which raises over $8,000 a year in grant money to donate toward art projects to public schools within the Swannanoa Valley.

This year the grant recipients include the Owen High School Drama department to help with their production of Nunsense, a Third Grade literary excursion and memory box project with Nora Nelson’s class at Black Mountain Primary, African drumming and dancing for a program called “Dance of Hope,” at Art Space, and Jack Tales: A Historic Treasure of the Blue Ridge, by Donna Marie Todd for Bill Feste’s eighth grade class at Owen Middle School.

Swannanoa Valley artist Katherine Owen works in her studio. Owen will be one of several local artists at the 21st Annual Art by the Tracks on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Local artists with work for sale will include Abigail Moffitt with Bloom, Carrie Marresh with her pottery, Fred Feldman with his found object Folk Art, Martha Johnson with her mixed media collages from Four Sisters Studio, Ruth Duckworth with Fiberworks by Ruth, Leslie Owens with Nice Threads, Laura Gaines with Thimble and Sew, and many more.

Two new residents to the Swannanoa Valley will be joining the show this year. Katherine Owen with Clay Dreaming will be bringing her whimsical sgraffito sculptures, vases, platters, and angels. Her colorful work is inspirational and beautiful.

“I am really excited about doing Art by the Tracks for the first time as a local resident,” Owen said.  

Lee Miller, one of the artists featured in the upcoming Art by the Tracks, works on his handcrafted jewelry in his studio.

Lee Miller with the Butterfly Effect by Studio 9ten will be bringing his butterfly jewelry and light catchers, some of which is glass and solder work, and others are hand lade in resin, all made with love and care using genuine butterflies.

Miller is excited for this show because it is, “a thrill to get my work out in the world, and at long last I am doing things that I enjoy.”

"This area is so rich with art," Miller said of his reason for moving to Swannanoa. "We have wanted to live here for a long time. It is a Southern Mecca of creativity and joy. We love it."

Artists come from as close as Black Mountain and as far away as Colorado for this bi-annual event. Attendance is free and parking is abundant.

For more information, please go online to the Old Depot’s website at, or contact show coordinator Sarah Vekasi at