2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

15th Annual Blacksmith Exhibition

April 2 – April 30, 2022
Kokol Gallery

April 29, 2022
5PM – 7PM
Kokol Gallery

Jim Cooper’s Artist Talk:
April 29, 2022
7PM – 8PM
Owen Gallery

Exhibiting Artists:

Wesley Angel, Leicester, NC
Cole Aurichio, Bakersville, NC
Elizabeth Betz, Gatlinburg, TN
Elizabeth Brim, Penland, NC
Bill Brown, Linville, NC
Talon Cavender-Wilson, Granite Falls, MN
David Clemons, Penland, NC
Charles Coffey, Vilas, NC
James Cooper, Bakersville, NC
Paige Davis, Burnsville, NC
Alydia Downs, Carbondale, IL
Lisa Geertsen, Murphysboro, IL.
Seth Gould, Bakersville, NC
Ken Hall, Waynesville, NC
Jacob Hoke, Boone, NC
Rachael Kedinger, Philadelphia, PA
William Locke, Matthews, NC
Kyle Lucia, Columbia, VA
Paul Lundquist, Burnsville, NC
Jeff McDowell, Spruce Pine, NC
Jim Moore, Morganton, NC
Lauren Moore, Morganton, NC
Susan Owens, Vilas, NC
Kailey Robinson, Mansi, MA
William Rogers, Cullowhee, NC
Paul Spainhour, Lewisville, NC
Scotty Utz, Weaverville, NC
Adam Whitney, Bakersville, NC
Mark Woodham, Burnsville, NC
Chuck Young, Burnsville, NC


This spring, Toe River Arts hosts its 15th Annual Blacksmith Exhibit at its Spruce Pine Gallery, opening on April 2. Featuring the work of blacksmiths from the southeast and beyond, this exhibition offers craftspeople the opportunity to show their work in a place known for its blacksmithing community.

Historically, the exhibition runs in conjunction with the Fire on the Mountain Blacksmithing Festival. Spruce Pine Main Street, in collaboration with Penland School of Craft and Toe River Arts, hosts the festival every year on the last weekend in April. The public can explore vendor tents for goods for sale, observe live demonstrations, or try their hand at blacksmithing at scheduled hands-on workshops.

Toe River Arts Exhibit Manager Kathryn Andree organized this year’s exhibition, as well as many in the past. Andree notes, “With our rich history of blacksmithing, this is the perfect exhibit for Spruce Pine. The show is never curated—so anyone can exhibit. That brings together professionals and those learning and/or working in their home workshops to share their ideas with each other.”

Every year, the Fire on the Mountain Festival asks a renowned metalworker to join the festival as its Featured Artist Blacksmith. This is an opportunity to bring big names from around the country to Spruce Pine to share their talent and skills. Last year brought Elizabeth Brim from North Carolina, years before brought John Rais from Pennsylvania, Maegan E. Crowley from Colorado, and artists from Wisconsin, Virginia, and Arizona. This year’s Featured Artist Blacksmith is Jim Cooper.

Meet Jim Cooper

A student, practitioner, and teacher of metalwork for 51 years, James has worked as a jeweler, silversmith, foundryman, conservator, sculptor, and blacksmith. Only rarely working with gallery representation, he has produced work for private collections throughout his career. During his tenure as a conservator, he enjoyed the privilege of working on objects from the Etruscan Collection of the Vatican Museum and Qin Dynasty objects from the People’s Republic of China. He produced public art for the City of Greensboro, NC, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and Emory Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA. James has works in the collections of the Metal Museum, Memphis, TN, and The Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC. In 2004, he received an award of Achievement from the American Crafts Council. In 2020, James and his wife moved to the mountains of Mitchell County, NC, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

This year’s festival demonstrators are David Burnette, Canton, NC, David Harper Clemons, Penland, NC, Suzanne Pugh, Wendell, Massachusetts, Adam Whitney, Penland, NC. For more information on Fire on the Mountain Festival, go to www.facebook.com/FireOnTheMountainFestival.

Cole Aurichio

David Clemons

Listening to Meers
Charles Coffey

Jim Cooper

Jim Cooper

Rocky Shore
Alydia Down

Alis Volat Propriis
Lisa Geertsen

Jeweler’s Saw
Seth Gould

Scottish Sgian Dubh
Ken Hall

Table Set
Lucia Kyle

Koftgari Hair Pin
Susan Owens

Angel Wing Begonia
Paul Spainhour

The Perfect Gift
Elizabeth Brim

Fruit Bowl
David Clemons

Steel Pearl Necklace
Charles Coffey and Susan Owens

Pan with Stone
Jim Cooper

Jim Cooper

Untitled Brooch
Alydia Down

Cross Peen
Seth Gould

Scottish Dirk
Ken Hall

Jacob Hoke

Table Detail
Lucia Kyle

Woodpecker Mask
William Rogers

Carriage Cups
Adam Whitney