A small, rural town like Brevard is fortunate to have attracted some incredible artists over the years – and the arts and culture within our community is thriving. While our downtown area is chocked full of eclectic artistry, The Scenic 276 Arts Corridor is our “outpost” community of a sorts for artist studios. “One of my favorite things to do when I have company visiting the area is take them on the Scenic 276 Studio Tour. Only a few minutes from downtown Brevard, you can hop in your car and take a drive on the creative side! I love exploring the pottery studios along this corridor – Duckpond Pottery, Mountain Forest Pottery, Mud Dabbers Pottery and Judith Duff Pottery. There is even a glass and photography studio…something for everyone,” says Tammy Hopkins, Executive Director for Transylvania County Arts Council.
Nick Friedman and his wife Jennifer Kelly own Duckpond Pottery, which is the first stop on the route starting from Downtown. “Since 1998 my wife and I have happily lived and worked in Brevard. We own the Duckpond Pottery and produce wood fired functional pottery and sculpture. We work with a native clay that is found in a field just on the other side of the French Broad River from our shop. Though this may seem like a simple situation, in actuality it is far from it. Once upon a time the mountains in Transylvania towered more than 25 thousand feet high and were among the tallest to have ever been on planet earth. Over many millions of years, the slow erosion of those mountains washed down into our valley the very minerals which make up the clay from which we now depend for our livelihood. The synchronicity of this fact is very humbling for us and in our daily work at the pottery provides us with a true sense of grounding. In our little pottery perched along the banks of the French Broad River, looking out over the fields that hold our clay, we feel very fortunate for having arrived in just the right place at just the right time,” says Friedman.
As you hear from Friedman, our local artists are passionate about their crafts, and their connection to our local environment. Not only is Highway 276 South a hub of creativity, but it’s also a picturesque drive through the mountains. In addition to the artistic businesses, the Corridor also includes some overnight accommodations and places to grab a bite to eat. An insiders tip for those staying overnight and interested in cooking ingredients – check out Whistestop Market for fresh produce, locally raised meats, and special treats like Tomato Pie.
John Dodson, owner of Mud Dabbers Pottery enjoys being a part of the Scenic 276 Arts Corridor, “Having the businesses along the Corridor join together in marketing helps promote a different part of the county, south of downtown. We’re all located along such a beautiful stretch of land along the French Broad River, and up into the mountains overlooking the river valley. Many of our arts businesses are studio/galleries, which gives visitors and local artists the chance to interact. The food and lodging businesses provide the necessities for letting visitors choose to linger a little longer and enjoy all our county has to offer.”
For more information on the 276 Arts Corridor including a map and list of participating businesses, please visit www.scenic276arts.com.