The Annual Blacksmith Exhibition 2015 At Toe River Arts Council

The Annual Blacksmith Exhibition 2015 At Toe River Arts Council
Yareah Magazine
The Annual Blacksmith Exhibition 2015 At Toe River Arts Council

James Viste at work

The Annual Blacksmith Exhibition 2015 At Toe River Arts Council. From March 28 through April 25 2015.


On Saturday the 28th of March, one will be able to feel the weight of beauty at the showcase held annually for blacksmiths participating in downtown Spruce Pine’s Fire on the Mountain Festival. Held in conjunction with “Fire”, the exhibition will give visitors an opportunity to view iron arts and crafts in a gallery setting and to learn more about the nationally acclaimed smiths. The floor will be weighted down with large forged work while smaller, intricate hand-wrought pieces will adorn pedestals, with even more on the walls. An always-fun pizza and beer reception will be held at the gallery on the eve of the Festival on Friday, April 24th, from 5 to 7pm. The public is invited to share in the evening and meet these talented artists.

TRAC’s history of displaying the finest craftsmanship in iron continues for the 2015 exhibition. This year’s recognized Master Blacksmith is James Viste. James was raised on a farm in Wisconsin, received a B.S. from The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse; and a M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI. James has worked for studios throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. James is the manager of Edgewise Forge in Detroit, and an instructor/technician at the city’s College for Creative Studies.

The Annual Blacksmith Exhibition 2015 At Toe River Arts Council

“Coat rack” by Viste

In his own words, “As a smith, whether a blacksmith, metalsmith, silversmith, or the like; I feel that the most rewarding part of existing within these trades is that their foundation lies in the hands-on manipulation of material and direct metal expression no matter its enthusiasm or its subtlety.  No mold making, no dry times, not even glue; just pick it up, heat it up, and make it.” He will be demonstrating during the festival day on lower street. With some of his best work on display at the TRAC gallery, Viste will be among the dozens of other master blacksmiths.

The pieces showcased during the Blacksmith exhibition are of the highest aesthetic caliber, inviting profound artistic contemplation from viewers. Other works bring back to life the hand-made uniqueness of the utilitarian items of past centuries: candlesticks, andirons, tongs, skewers. All the smiths have taken a concept and brought it to completion with unparalled artistry.

The Annual Blacksmith Exhibition will run from March 28 through April 25, ending the evening of the Fire on the Mountain Festival in downtown Spruce Pine. For more information about the Toe River Arts Council exhibition, please call 828.765.0520, or visit the Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.  Please visit for FOTM information.

The Toe River Arts Council is a not for profit organization promoting the arts in Mitchell and Yancey Counties, and supported by donations, memberships, local government, grants (including the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency), and supporters who understand the benefit of art in our community.

Toe River Arts Council Burnsville, NC  28714.

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