Highlands Mountaintop Art & Craft Show draws a steady crowd

Visitors gathered at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park over the weekend for the Highlands Mountaintop Art & Craft Show.

About 55 vendors from the area displayed their works on Saturday and Sunday that included pottery, woodwork, painting, photography, basket weaving, jewelry and more.

A diverse selection of artwork was on display at the Highlands Mountaintop Art & Craft Show over the weekend.

Tents were set up in accordance with social-distancing protocols throughout the Park and Show Organizer Cynthia Strain said there were a decent number of visitors this year.

“The turnout wasn’t quite as much as usual, but it was still a good crowd,” sad Strain. “The compliance rate was about 99% for wearing masks, so it was safe, you’re outside, the sun is shining, it’s been fun. People are so happy to have this event to get outside and enjoy the day.”

Requiring more space between tents for social distancing means less vendors, but organizers said it was worth it to hold a safe event.

Highlands Mountaintop Rotary Club sponsored the Show and Rotarian volunteers were on hand offering masks to anyone who didn’t have one. Rotarian Kirk Dornbush said the show was a success.

“It was very safe,” said Dornbush. “Everyone is wearing a mask, our sidewalks are 12 feet wide, we have one-way traffic; everybody knows there’s a happy medium. It’s a lot of work to make it this way, but the people who came to the show have been thrilled. The turnout has been great.”

Paintings, ceramics, photography, woodwork, and metalwork, are a number of mediums used by artists at the Craft Show.

Vendor Robin Rodgers, of Robin Rodgers Pottery said the increased spacing between the tents compared to previous years turned out to be a plus.

“This is how all shows should be set up,” said Rodgers. “It’s so much more comfortable for the customer and the artist. I love it. It’s a pleasant atmosphere to shop when you’re not confined.”

Some of the pieces on display from Robin Rodgers Pottery.

Vendor Amy Wald of Chimney Rock Bark and Twig has worked the Art Show many times over the past 20 years and said it’s always worth it to keep coming back.

“I like the venue, I like the people, they do a great job here,” said Wald. “There’s a super diverse mix of artists and things of all price points. You can spend $5 or $3,000.”

There seemed to be something for all ages and wallet sizes at the Craft Show in Highlands.

Wald added that visitors were eager to check out the wares on display with other show closures and cancellations because of COVID-19.

“The turnout is about the same as last year, but I think people are starved for good, one-of-a-kind art,” said Wald. “They want to see it, even if they’re not buying, it’s visually pleasing.”

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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