Photo Credit: Charley Akers Photo

Photo Credit: Charley Akers Photo

Sherry has deep roots in the art and craft traditions of the mountains of Western North Carolina.

From an early age Sherry Masters loved to make things by hand. Both of her grandmothers supported this interest and taught her sewing, mending, and quilting. Sherry pursued a degree in Fashion Merchandising because of this love of textiles, then later opportunities in fine craft retail brought the realization her true interest was in a greater range of handmade objects, as well as the makers and their stories. Attention to detail, skills practiced over time to attain mastery, and the ability to innovate—these are aspects of art and fine craft that continually inspire.

During college, Sherry had an internship at the Folk Art Center of the Southern Highland Craft Guild; leading to a full-time job and many opportunities to learn the history of the crafts of the Southern Appalachian people. The guild proved to be the perfect place to develop friendships and working relationships with artists, relationships she carried over to her work at the Grovewood Gallery, owned by Biltmore Industries–a major player in the craft history of Asheville.

As assistant buyer, co-manager, buyer, then General Manager of Grovewood Gallery (over a total of 20 years), Sherry’s helped turn the Asheville-based store into one of the nations top retailers of fine craft. Maintaining a stable of close to 400 artists, she often overheard customers exclaim over the selection and high quality of work shown there. Sherry originated Grovewood’s annual Sculpture for the Garden exhibition and has served as a craft fair juror for many craft organizations up and down the east coast.

While at Grovewood, Sherry spearheaded the national American Craft Week events in Western North Carolina. She continues to serve as co-chairperson for American Craft Week, whose goal is to raise awareness of all the ways artists and craft affiliated businesses contribute to our national way of life, through its annual October celebration.

But for Sherry, the most rewarding part of her career has been developing meaningful relationships with artists and helping to promote their work. That passion for connections led her to create Art Connections in 2013. Showcasing the rich field of talent in Western North Carolina and giving art lovers a meaningful way to discover local artists in their own studios is the culmination of a lifetime of work.

Come along with Sherry through some of Western North Carolina’s most breathtaking landscapes and find out what makes this region one of the country’s top centers of craft and fine art.

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