About the Weaverville Art Safari

The Weaverville Art Safari is a two-day juried studio tour that takes place every spring and fall (usually the last weekend of April and the first weekend of November). One of the longest-running such events in western NC, it’s widely recognized both for the quality of work on display and for the unique opportunity it provides to ramble through this beautiful area, meeting our artists and seeing the spaces where they work and live. It’s a favorite of both locals and visitors, and draws thousands of art lovers to our little neck of the woods.

Interested in being part of our event? Great! Here are some frequent questions we get, and answers to ‘em.

1. Who can participate as an exhibiting artist?

The Safari is primarily focused on highlighting artists living and working in the Weaverville area. (That includes Weaverville and a number of adjacent communities in northern Buncombe County, such as Woodfin, Alexander, Jupiter, and Barnardsville.) Artists living outside the area can also participate, but only if they are invited by a member artist to exhibit in that member’s studio/home.

2. What’s the difference between a “member artist” and a “visiting artist”?

Artists who live and work in the Weaverville area are eligible to become member artists of the Safari. Safari members pay a lower registration fee for each Safari, and receive an easily-editable page on the Safari website that will remain active for as long as their registration stays current.

Artists who are invited to exhibit their work in a member artist’s studio are, by default, visiting artists. Visiting artists pay a higher registration fee; they also receive an editable page on the site, but, since they’re not allowed to exhibit in this way on a recurring basis, their page will be deleted after the event for which they’ve registered.

3. What are some of the other benefits of participation?

Whether you’re a member or visiting artist, once you’ve registered, you’ll also receive a number of other perks, including:

– A listing (name and featured image) on the front page of our website, including an interactive map showing your studio location

– A personalized entry (name, featured image, work description, and map/number) in our full-color brochure, which is sent to our mailing list (over 8,000 recipients) and distributed to regional businesses and welcome/information centers

– Work featured at Preview Party fundraising event (Friday before the Safari)

– Networking with other local artists and craftspeople

Aside from these individual benefits, you’ll also benefit from our extensive advertising and PR campaign — including banners, print ads, radio spots on BPR and WNCW, articles, social media, and more — all of which drive visitors to you and your work. The Safari DOES NOT take a portion of your proceeds from sales. We do everything in our power to make this a weekend that’s good for you and your artistic business — the registration fee is all you’ll pay!

4. I’m a local artist, and I’d love to participate. How do I become a member?

Start the process by registering here: https://www.weavervilleartsafari.com/membership-account/membership-levels/. Click the “Member Artist” level button, pay your registration fee and set up an account, and then start working on building your profile. (Scroll down to the bottom for some helpful video tutorials on getting your profile set up.) NB: The registration windows are January 15-February 15 (for the spring) and July 15-August 15 (for the fall); outside of those windows, the registration buttons are inactive. 

After your profile is completed and submitted, our jury panel — made up of other local artists in a variety of disciplines — will review your work samples to ensure you meet our standards for participation. Assuming you do, we’ll then contact you to schedule a site visit at your studio/home, to ensure it meets basic standards for accessibility (adequate parking, easy access for folks of all ages, etc.).

Once you’re over those two hurdles, you’re in for life! You can continue to exhibit at every subsequent Safari, so long as you re-register and pay the fee by the deadline for each one. And for as long as you stay current on your registrations fees, your artist profile will remain active on our website.

5. I don’t live/work in the area. Is there a way for me to participate?

Those who don’t live and/or work in the area may be able to exhibit as visiting artists. (The “and/or” part is significant — that is, the visiting designation would apply to both (a) artists whose primary residence is outside of our service area, AND (b) artists who do live in our service area, but who do not have a working studio here.)

To be eligible for visiting-artist participation, you must have an invitation from one of our established members to exhibit in their studio. This is because we don’t put visiting artists through the full jury process; instead, the member artist is vouching for the quality of your work by inviting you to show in their space. The fee for visiting artists is also higher — usually by about $50 or so; that’s because, although we are always happy to have guest artists, the Safari is really meant to be a showcase for folks who live and make work here.

Once you’ve established a relationship with and an invitation from one of our members artists, you go through the same process of registering, creating an account, and building your profile online (see question #4 above, and the tutorials below). The only difference is that you’ll that choose and pay for the “Visiting Artist” level, and fill in the name and physical address for the member artist who’s hosting you.

6. Can I exhibit my work at a local business during the Safari?

The Safari’s mission is to bring visitors to area artists’ home studios, many of which are located in less-populous, less-traveled parts of the county. In keeping with that spirit, we do not facilitate artist/business arrangements of this type, and encourage visiting artists to partner with members to show in their studios all over the area. However, if a business has extended an invitation, and the artist’s work is deemed by the jury panel to be of exceptionally high quality, we will consider such an arrangement, under the guise of visiting-artist level registration, and on an extremely limited basis (typically, no more than one such arrangement per cycle). The Safari committee reserves the right to reject proposals of this type for any reason.

Artists interested in exhibiting their work in a more self-contained environment might instead consider applying for the Art in Autumn festival, which takes place on Main Street every September. Information about Art in Autumn is here: https://www.visitweaverville.com/art-in-autumn/