Visitors Center In Townsend Showcases Appalachian Artisans In March

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - by Jeff Muir

This March, those who stop by the Visitors Center in Townsend will take a step back in time as they experience a series of Appalachian demonstrations in the exhibit room. 

From March 1-16, the Foothills Quilters Guild in Maryville will showcase quilts made by its members.  This exhibit, including hand-made and machine-made large and small quilts, will highlight the talent and skill of the Guild’s members.  Visitors will have the opportunity to see true Appalachian heritage and culture exude from the pattern and stitching of each quilt on display.

The Foothills Quilters Guild strives to promote and encourage the unique art of quilt-making and instill an appreciation and pride in preserving the area’s heritage.  The Guild welcomes beginners to professional quilters to join in an effort to carry on such a time-honored tradition.  The Guild meets at the First Church of the Nazarene, located at 1610 E. Broadway in Maryville, on the first and third Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Collected at the first meeting in July, a yearly fee is required of each Guild member.

For more information on the Foothills Quilters Guild, please call the Guild’s president, Jean Smith, at 865 982-3306 or visit

From March 19-30, local woodcarvers’ creations will be on display, and visitors will also have the opportunity to observe the unique and precise technique of these local woodcarvers as they demonstrate the craft of turning a piece of wood into a work of art. 

Hezzie Holden, James Dull, Chris Rayburn and John Keydash will be among the woodcarvers representing the Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers Supply Store at Nawger Nob.  The store offers woodcarving classes that teach this time-honored Appalachian craft, along with a wide selection of woodcarving tools, such as chip carving knives, mesh sandpaper and beginner kits. 

Lendel Abbott will also be demonstrating his knife woodcarving. Abbott created and donated the Visitors Center’s handcarved mantel, which is hand-carved with a cabin and mountains in the background and is stained light brown.  

For more information on the Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers, please contact Mac Proffitt at 865 448-2259 or visit

The exhibits will be free of cost and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information about the exhibits, please contact the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center at Townsend at 800 525-6834 or visit


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