Grovewood Gallery and Wood Art

Grovewood Gallery, one of the nation's top high-end craft retailers, is increasing its presence in the wood art field.
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The Asheville, North Carolina, business did a major reconfiguration in July devoting 1,200 of its 9,000 square foot display space to 19 wood artists it currently represents.

Patrons entering the venue are immediately drawn to the wood art display which features museum quality lighting and space to view the pieces from all angles.

Grovewood has added a few wood artists to its inventory the last two years, but previously the work had no dedicated space.

Sales of several pieces in the five-figures range with little promotion showed managing partner Harry Patton and his staff that there was a potential client-base to support more wood.

Patton and staff members have been doing their due-diligence at AAW symposiums in Tampa and Phoenix the last two years as well as at numerous high end craft shows to determine which artists fit the best product mix.

The new space was unveiled on Thursday, August 7th, at a "Wood and Wine" reception held in conjunction with the annual sale at the Penland School of Craft in nearby Bakersville, North Carolina.

"We had a very large crowd which reacted favorably to our increased emphasis on wood art and made some significant sales," said gallery spokesperson Melissa Engler. "We've always had a strong interest in quality wood art. But recent changes in the market (read closing of delmano gallery space in early 2012) made it possible for us to connect with a lot of artists seeking a home for their work.

"In the future you can expect more special events promoting the artists we represent and hopefully we can become a destination for buyers looking for wood art as we are for other collectors of fine craft."

Grovewood has been voted one of nation's top 10 craft galleries by numerous publications for the past decade. It was opened in 1992 in a space with an English cottage/craftsman home feel. The entire complex where the gallery is located has a long history dating back to the 1890s and the Vanderbilt family (www.grovewood.com/about-us/history).

Asheville has long had a strong tourist trade due to the Biltmore Estate and numerous outdoor activities in the surrounding mountains of western North Carolina.

Grovewood filled a need for tourists seeking high quality crafts from the artisans which populate that part of the country. Its speciality was hand-made furniture and fabrics. Equally unique ceramics and glass soon followed.

"Our clients aren't necessarily wood art collectors but collectors seeking high end glass, ceramics or outdoor sculptures along with furniture," said Engler. "We hope they'll find the wood art we carry attractive enough to add to their collections as well as us becoming a go-to gallery for wood art collectors."


by Dave Long