Cherokee Heritage Itinerary -- Stop 2 Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual
The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual sits at the same intersection – Cherokee Road and 441 – as the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and is an essential stop on the tour. This co-op is a gallery where you can see and purchase the work of many of today’s greatest Cherokee craftspeople. You’ll see how ancient traditions like basket-making, wood-carving, and pottery continue to evolve, incorporating techniques developed centuries ago, while reflecting the inspiration and skill of today’s artists.
The Qualla co-op is more than a gallery. It is also a vital economic, as well as artistic, hub for the Cherokee people in this region. By helping artists to make a living in their chosen field, it has made a tremendous contribution to the survival of art forms that might long since have been lost to the ages. Widely respected for its rigorous standards, the co-op helps maintain the high level of excellence for which Cherokee artists are known. And in a community that relies heavily on income from summer tourism, the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual is a year-round resource. So while you are at the co-op, if you spot a beautiful rivercane basket or dark, gleaming pottery bowl that you must have, your purchase will be of direct benefit to this community’s artistic life.
The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual is located at the intersection of Highway 441 and Drama Road, and is open from 9:00 to 5:00 on weekdays. Call 1-828-497-3103 for more information.
Photo: Amanda Swimmer, potter and North Carolina Folk Heritage Award winner; photo by Rob Amberg.
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