by  Zacch Estrada-Petersen

HUNTERSVILLE – Birkdale Village will host the second annual Greater Charlotte Fine Arts Festival this weekend, Oct. 27-28.



Festival director Bill Kinney said he’s happy about the event’s move to Birkdale from last year’s Southpark venue. Festival co-sponsor Visit Lake Norman shares in his enthusiasm.

“Visit Lake Norman is honored to help host the Greater Charlotte Fine Arts Festival, and we welcome the chance to showcase our assets to some of the best artists from 18 states across the country,” Travis Dancy, sports sales manager for the organization, said.  “We hope this will establish our area as a perfect venue for this type of event, paving the way for similar festivals in the future.”

The event, presented by New York-based Paragon Art Festivals, sets itself apart from other art shows in a number of different ways. For starters, there is no music.

“If you’re coming for the music, then you’re just there for the music,” Kinney said. “Most people don’t come for both, and we want this to just be about the art.”

In addition to that, a jury selection process whittled down the hundreds of entrants to several dozen. This year’s festival will feature not only local artisans, but others from as far away as the West Coast. An artist from China will also be participating.

One of the featured artists at this year’s festival is Archie Smith, a woodworker from Mount Pleasant, who makes musical instruments such as dulcimers and psalteries by hand.

Smith, who has been woodworking part-time since the early 1970s and full-time since 1997, participated in last year’s festival as well. Two months ago, however, he had an accident that severed three of his fingers – two of which were later reattached.

“I apparently got into an argument with my table saw,” Smith said jokingly. “The moral of the story is ‘Don’t do that,’ because you’re not gonna win.”

Although Smith will have plenty of pieces available at the festival, the majority of them will be from his pre-injury collection.

“I’ve not been able to do that much work since it happened because I’ve got to take it easy on my hand,” Smith said.

Despite the incident, he remains in high spirits.

“I’ll adapt and it’ll come back,” Smith said. “The brain is remarkable at rewiring itself. Even though I don’t have the mobility in that hand that I did, it’s still better than not having any fingers at all.” He’s looking forward to this weekend’s event.

“I encourage people to come out because it’s not your typical ‘mom-and-pop’ festival. The people there are professional and they do really high quality arts and crafts. You’ll see things there that you’ve never seen before,” he said.

Want to go?

The Greater Charlotte Fine Arts Festival runs from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Oct. 27 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 28, with free admission and parking available. For information, visit paragonartevents.com/charlotte.