The Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League has been active in Western North Carolina for over forty years. Started in 1967 the League’s arts exhibits and programs have set standards of excellence for the area, and our arts education programs have employed some of the area's finest artists, and sculptors, as well as teachers of national reputation.
The inspiration for the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League -- the area's oldest group of community artists -- grew out of a ladies' luncheon back in 1967, at Black Mountain's historic Monte Vista Hotel. It was there that a Mrs. Guilford (a noted artist from Pennsylvania who'd retired to Black Mountain) quickly realized the abundance of creative expression blossoming in her adopted village, and lost no time in urging her fellow artists to form a league of their own.
Black Mountain, NC is at the eastern edge of Buncombe County and has a rich history of being an arts and crafts cultural community. The arts tradition runs deep in Black Mountain inspired by the internationally famous Black Mountain College. For a short time in the middle of the twentieth century a small town in North Carolina became a hub of American cultural production. The town was Black Mountain and the reason was Black Mountain College. Founded in 1933, the school was a reaction to the more traditional schools of the time. At its core was the assumption that a strong liberal and fine arts education must happen simultaneously inside and outside the classroom.
The college closed in 1956 but its influence is evident in the variety and number of studios, galleries and museums in the valley. The arts lover can spend days exploring resources such as the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, the Old Depot Arts and Crafts Center or just browsing the many galleries in town including The Sourwood Gallery, AnTHM Gallery or Seven Sisters Gallery.
Lake Tomahawk is just a short walk from
The Red House Studios and Gallery
for Art in Black Mountain
Members FAQ Sheet