Touring the Arts in Wilkes County

When people hear “Wilkes” they often think of MerleFest, The Brushy Mountains or W. Kerr Scott Lake but there is another attraction here, well known among Wilkes County locals and rapidly growing in size. Murals are coming to life in downtown, galleries are opening, and crafts, rooted in North Carolina heritage, are being preserved and shared. The visual arts are alive and well in Wilkes. Travelers are discovering that there is more here than nature and music, there is a feast for the eyes. Local craftsmen display and sell their goods throughout Wilkes, especially in the downtown areas, museums and galleries are welcoming travelers daily and murals and barn quilts are gracing the sides of many a building.

Local Crafts and Visual Arts

• Locally made custom jewelry can be found at Sisters.
Taupe Gallery represents 65 Northwestern N.C. craftsmen.
• Textiles are artfully stitched at Gloria Sews.
• Crafts and coffee come hand in hand at Talia.
• Stone Mountain Country Store has quilts, crafts, good eats and ice-cream.
• William Vance Nichols shares his paintings and skills at his studio in Melody Square.
• Royall”s Custom Framing and Fine Arts has paintings by local artists of many local places.
Southern Candle uses traditional artistry in producing their own hand crafted candles.

Permanent Museums, Galleries & Displays

• The Old Wilkes County Courthouse, built in 1902, is home to the Heritage Museum.
• Saint Paul”s Episcopal Church, built in 1848, features two frescoes by renowned artist, Ben Long.
• Historic log cabins at Whippoorwill Academy contain art by locals both young and old.
• The Wilkes Art Gallery, located in the old library, originally the North Wilkesboro Post Office, always has something new to see and sell.

Events like MerleFest and the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival allow craftsmen to gather annually while long time establishments such as Whippoorwill Academy, Wilkes Art Gallery, The Wilkes Heritage Museum and others, remain open throughout the year. With so much to see and learn, experiencing the arts in Wilkes is a must.


Visiting these establishments in Wilkes could become a vacation all its own.

We invite you to stay awhile and experience all that Wilkes has to offer.