Garden & Gun: Small Towns with Big Art Scenes in the SouthAugust 1, 2022
In the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Pittsboro’s annual Fearrington Folk Art Show in February showcases many self-taught artists. R.B. Fitch, who owns Fearrington House Inn, Restaurant and Village, has infused the property’s historic grounds with art since taking ownership decades ago. And after meeting artist Sam “the Dot Man” McMillan about twenty years ago, Fitch envisioned a small art show in the Fearrington Barn, with no booth fees nor commissions expected from participating artists. Nineteen years later, it’s now one of the region’s most anticipated annual events.
Kerstin Lindgren, co-coordinator of the art show, explains the intentional community engagement. “The folk art show welcomes about thirty-five artists each year, and they come from all over the eastern U.S. mostly, but it’s always been especially important to us to draw from the rich self-taught art traditions here in North Carolina. We host artists from right here. Even before the Fearrington Folk Art Show, there has always been a vibrant arts community in Pittsboro and Chatham County. We’ve just provided another way for the public to enjoy and think about art in an approachable way.”