Do you love what we do as the Valley River Arts Guild? If you would like to support our organization and our community programs, please consider adding your donation to our Legacy Program for our mortgage support! Your donation could make the difference for everything the Valley River Arts Guild does for our community.
Our Mission Valley River Arts Guild, formed in 2010, supports the talent and creativity of the artists in our community, unifies our community around the promotion and education of the arts through classes and events, and enhances the livability and quality of life of our county residents and visitors to our region as an art-centric community. Our mission is, and has always been, to become a regional arts destination. Housed in a 1985 building called the MAC, Murphy Art Center, our organization is located in downtown Murphy, North Carolina, in the heart of far western Tier I Cherokee County. The Arts Guild has grown from 15 founding members, to over 75 artists and crafters from many of the southern states, nurturing the development of many emerging artists. With no paid staff, our members are the work force volunteers that accomplish everything that we do as an organization. Each artist member helps to operate the MAC gallery by sharing work stints, as well as volunteering on the many committees we have, in order to support our many community projects.
Our Programs Since 2011, our volunteer driven organization has produced the huge First Friday Murphy Art Walk events every month, which showcases music, arts, crafts, and theater. Valley River Arts Guild volunteers organize a hands-on crafting table at each Art Walk event which serves approximately 400 children yearly. Our Art Walk program supports approximately 4500 artists and crafters yearly and is attended every year by well over 8000 lovers of Appalachian arts and crafts. Our organization organizes and teaches a year-round Kids’ Art program at our Murphy Art Center, as well as a wonderful variety of classes for adults and teens. Our educational programs reach 750 children yearly and over 400 adults. The MAC, Murphy Art Center, is a showcase gallery for regional artists’ Appalachian arts and crafts and serves as the ‘welcome center for the arts’ in our region. Our 75 artists and crafters manage the gallery as well as volunteer on our multiple committees for maintaining the building and grounds and serving on our many community projects. Our visitor count into the Murphy Art Center yearly reaches nearly 18,000 lovers of the arts. The MAX Project, Murphy Art Xplosion, Outdoor Art Gallery is one of our newer projects, with framed canvas art panels installed throughout the historic downtown in an ever-changing seasonal display of art talent hailing from the Southern states of North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida, and reaching further every year as the project grows. Multiple downtown locations feature 70 artworks of professional artists as well as new and emerging artists. We estimate that close to 50,000 persons have viewed and enjoyed The MAX Project just in its first year of installments, and the project will be a draw to our area for the future as more artists and artworks are featured. The volunteers of Valley River Arts Guild are now planning the SMArt Tour, Smoky Mountain Art, studio tour, of the working artist and crafter studios located in our beautiful Appalachian Smoky Mountain region. 20 artists will be featured in a self-driven, self-guided tour during the last two weekends of April, 2024. Up to 20 additional artists will also be featured to demonstrate their arts and crafts at The MAC, Murphy Art Center during the two weekends of this exciting event. As funding is located and awarded, our organization hopes to promote this unique event far and wide, in order to showcase and support our many regional Appalachian artists, to educate the public on how these arts and crafts are created through artist demonstrations within each working studio, as well as showcasing the beauty of our Smoky Mountain region as folks drive from studio to studio. The Valley River Arts Guildhas also begun the first stages of construction of an addition to our building (by enclosing the drive-through of our former bank building) to house larger juried art shows, singer-songwriter workshops, educational art seminars, week-long art camps for kids and teens, invited special guest artist exhibitions, music listening room events, varied cultural performances, the Silver Arts annual show, and so much more. The goal for the creation of this space is to improve the people’s lives of our area, to educate the community about the arts, and to provide a space that supports the artists and musicians of our tri-state area. Construction is ongoing as funds are located.
To have your name or dedication added to our entryway Legacy board, please contact us or consider sending in your donation to: Valley River Arts Guild, 12 Peachtree Street, Murphy, NC 28906 828-360-3038