The origins of Gatlinburg’s arts and crafts community are as creative as its founders. After years of crafting their wares in downtown streets and studios, in 1937 John Cowden and several other local artisans packed up shop and moved home to the Glades.
Relocating to home studios on the outskirts of town, Gatlinburg’s creatives eliminated studio rent, cut their commutes, and ultimately formed the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. Inviting the visitors of Gatlinburg to come see their wares and watch them work, artisans created a destination that’s still thriving 86 years later.
Today, with more than 96 artists and craftspeople, dozens of eateries, quaint lodging, wedding chapels and acres of (free!) parking, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community in the Glades is a classic Gatlinburg attraction. Accessible from downtown by car or a dedicated trolley route, all community members are located along an 8-mile loop.
Art for All Ages
Just as Gatlinburg is known for its all-ages fun, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community invites people of all artistic abilities to explore mountain creativity. With galleries, studios and shops focused on diverse mediums including pottery, woodwork, jewelry, painting, glassblowing, basket weaving, candle making, leather goods and more, the community has broad appeal. Whether you’re interested in learning from a master maker – or looking for family-friendly activity – the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is for you.
Easter Arts & Crafts Show
Hop into creative mode at the Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show, April 5-8, 10am-5pm, at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. With free admission, this annual event features the handiwork of local artisans and visiting makers from throughout the country. Enjoy onsite demonstrations and shop for one-of-a-kind wares.
Hands On Gatlinburg
Try your hand at arts and crafts during Hands On Gatlinburg. An annual weekend of immersive creativity, this year’s event is set for May 5-7 in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. With more than a dozen studios participating, guests may choose from 30 plus workshops for crafters of all experience levels. Learn techniques and traditions from the makers who infuse Gatlinburg with creativity – and go home with a masterpiece of your own making! Purchase tickets and sign up for workshops early, as space is limited.