"Around these parts," there's always a story jumpin' around. It might be a home-spun yarn told by a friendly old-timer...or it could be an original production in a charming venue, like the nearby Barter Theatre. Sometimes it's hidden in the colors of an enchanting work of art.
From the National Storytelling Festival to quaint sidewalk galleries, there's authentic Appalachian culture waiting around every corner. And whether it makes you laugh, cry, or jump out of your seat in excitement, it's something you'll never forget.
Boones Creek Potters Gallery
This is a gallery of true uniqueness. All of the pottery is hand-crafted and never reproduced. Another special feature of the gallery is that you can buy supplies to make your own items.
Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens
The home of wildlife artist Johnny Lynch and his family, Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens is one of East Tennessee's hidden treasures. Birds, butterflies, peacocks and other wildlife abound in this showcase of the area's natural beauty.
Special Events: Fiddlers and Fiddleheads Festival (April)
International Storytelling Center
423-913-8209 or 1-800-952-8392
The International Storytelling Center celebrates the storytelling tradition through performances, exhibits, seminars and a retail shop filled with a wide selection of storytelling books, tapes and gifts.
Special Events: National Storytelling Festival (October)
Nelson Fine Art
This unique art gallery features works by many local artists. Art lovers come to Nelson Fine Art on the first Friday of each month to admire local artwork and mingle in the streets of downtown Johnson City.
First Friday (art event held first Friday of each month)
Downtown Johnson City's monthly "meandering art festival" is known as First Friday. This event began in 2001 as a monthly expo of local and regional art inside Nelson Fine Art. Now, a few years later, on the First Friday of each month the downtown district is starting to buzz with activity.
Streets are closed to vehicle traffic, other galleries have opening receptions, retail businesses hold open houses, and artists and crafters set up to sell their wares. In the warm weather, restaurants pull tables onto the sidewalks, local soul food restaurant, Taste Budz fries fresh fish, and bands play in the street. But, the epicenter of activity is still Nelson Fine Art. This ritualistic celebration of artistic prowess is held on Main Street from about 7 to 11 p.m.
The Quilt Trail
423-854-9261 ext. 2
The artistry of the traditional quilt lives scattered throughout the region on the walls of historic and beautiful barns. The trail from one to another leads visitors on a scenic countryside tour, by historic sites, produce stands, shops, galleries and other interesting places along the way.