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The Bascom’s major exhibitions highlight the work of the artists who live and work in our region, Bascom instructors and students, Artist Fellows and Residents, as well as world-renowned artists whose work might not otherwise be seen in this region. The Bascom's 3 galleries and the Winkler Sculpture and Nature Trail are host to approximately 10 exhibitions each year, which pair with our Outreach and Education departments to attract 20,000 visitors to The Bascom. Free guided tours are available upon advanced request.

The Bascom's 2023 Annual Theme: Origins

Origins, The Bascom’s annual theme, invites artists and curators to explore questions about the sources of their ideas, materials, and methods of making. Many of our exhibits this year focus on the materials of art – from Winter Resident Artist Kimberly English’s examination of the materiality of textiles in The Ravel & The Rest, to the Moulthrops’ three-generation investigation into the potential of native trees to be turned into beautiful bowls in Into the Wood.

The exhibit, Green Energy Park: Building Art and Community with Renewable Energy, and the Three Potters Symposium, Elements: Form and Fire, both consider the energy necessary to create artistic forms. Curator Kirsten Stingle brings together artists who explore the theme of origins and myth-making in the multi-media exhibit In.Visible. And Kinship Photography Collective presents Listening to the Land: Reimagining the Bartram Trail, offering visual celebrations of the power and majesty of the mountains, and human ties to the land. The theme of origins also gives the Bascom community an opportunity to explore our own sources of inspiration, dreams and growth, highlighted in this year’s exhibit of selections from the permanent collection, the annual juried members show, and in the on-going collective stories project, Our Bascom.

As we engage with the annual theme, our curators and artists invite us to think about origins as a form of story-telling; as John H. Arnold, has said,

…stories lead to other stories, journeys across a thousand miles of ocean lead to journeys across a continent, and the meanings and interpretations of these stories are legion. 'Origins' are simply where we choose to pick up the story, dictating (and dictated by) what kind of story it is we wish to tell. 

As the Bascom offers this season of visual arts experiences, we hope audiences will find a moment to engage with the journey of making, the stories we tell as artists and viewers, and ultimately, our own personal stories about the connection between ourselves and the world.

GALLERY: Horst Winkler Sculpture Trail
ARTIST(S): Various
ON DISPLAY: April 22, 2023
THROUGH: April 30, 2024
MEDIUM(S): Sculpture

In April, five new works will be displayed on the Horst Winkler Sculpture Trail, marking the third year of our outdoor sculpture program on The Bascom campus. A sixth work will be placed at an outdoor location in Cashiers, thanks to the efforts of our partner organization, Vision Cashiers.

GALLERY: Thompson Gallery
ARTIST(S): Various
ON DISPLAY: April 22, 2023
THROUGH: July 15, 2023
MEDIUM(S): Various

Featuring the work of artists affiliated with the Jackson County Green Energy Park, in Dillsboro, NC, this exhibit displays metals, pottery, and glass. These works are made possible by the recapture of landfill methane to fuel forges, foundries, and kilns. Curated by Timm Muth.

GALLERY: Joel Gallery
ARTIST(S): Sean Patrick Hill
ON DISPLAY: April 22, 2023
THROUGH: August 5, 2023
MEDIUM(S): Photography

Each year The Bascom’s Photography Artist in Residence Program brings in educator-artists who create work for exhibition and offer new insights to our signature STEAM-focused curriculum, integrating basic skills in science, technology, engineering and math with the arts.

GALLERY: Bunzl Gallery
ARTIST(S): Ed, Philip, and Matt Moulthrop
ON DISPLAY: May 13, 2023
THROUGH: August 26, 2023
MEDIUM(S): Woodturning

Into the Wood explores the aesthetic and technical breakthroughs of three generations of artist-woodturners who have created a new language of self-expression through form, material and process. Curated by Marilyn Laufer and Tom Butler, the exhibition focuses on works made from native wood. A special piece, created from a fallen tree located on The Bascom campus will be created for the exhibition and will be on display and available for purchase at a special auction.

GALLERY: Thompson Gallery
ARTIST(S): Bascom Members
ON DISPLAY: July 29, 2023
THROUGH: September 16, 2023
MEDIUM(S): Various

Bascom member artists explore their own artistic origins in this annual juried exhibition.

GALLERY: Joel Gallery
ARTIST(S): Morgan Kennedy and Kevin Kirkpatrick
ON DISPLAY: August 19, 2023
THROUGH: January 20, 2024
MEDIUM(S): Multimedia

This collaborative piece by LIVLAB artists, Morgan Kennedy and Kevin Kirkpatrick, weaves object making, water-way exploration, and sound, with romantic literary impressions of Western North Carolina. The project was inspired by a passage from the book Thirteen Moons by novelist Charles Frazier in which he describes a local mountain medicine, which is made from “River Nests.”

GALLERY: Bunzl Gallery
ARTIST(S): Various
ON DISPLAY: September 9, 2023
THROUGH: January 6, 2024
MEDIUM(S): Photography

Listening to the Land is a nine-month photography exploration of the Bartram Trail near Highlands, NC. Influenced by the legacy of William Bartram, photographers of all levels have been invited to enter an intimate world where the landscape is alive and waiting to be met, understood, and loved. Through workshops and online conversations, photographers have cultivated a faithful conversation with the land that explores the rich biodiversity of place while honoring each photographer’s unique way of seeing and responding to the land.

GALLERY: Thompson Gallery
ARTIST(S): Morgan Kennedy and Kevin Kirkpatrick
ON DISPLAY: September 30, 2023
THROUGH: December 30, 2023
MEDIUM(S): Multimedia
GUEST CURATOR(S): Kirsten Stingle

Curated by ceramic artist, Kirsten Stingle, In.Visible explores reimagining myths and tales to better address the climate crisis as well as the social, economic, and political upheaval of modernity. David Abram says, “Before you can restore the land, you must re-story the land.”

Current Exhibitions

Emergence: A Survey of Southeastern Studio Programs 2023

Emergence celebrates the role of teaching and mentoring in artistic development, highlighting works by faculty mentors their students. The 34 pairs of artists presented in...

The Ravel & The Rest

This year’s Winter Resident Artist, Kimberly English explores the ideas of raveling and unravelling in her newest textile installation made for The Bascom. The Ravel &...

Selections from Our Permanent Collection: Origins

Each year, we select works from our permanent collection coordinating with the annual theme. This year’s theme of origins gives the Bascom community an opportunity to...

Outdoor Sculpture 2022 - 2023

2022 marks the second year of annual outdoor sculpture exhibit outside on The Bascom Campus.






For information about sponsorship opportunities, please call:  828.526.4949

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Whether you fell in love with a piece or were moved by an exhibit, inspired by an instructor, had a blast in our smART Space, or any other wonderful experience at The Bascom, we want to hear about it!

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Opening Hours

Exhibitions & Shop:
Wednesday - Saturday; 10am - 4pm

Studio Barn Hours:

Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday Noon - 5 pm

Find Us Online:


Visit: 323 Franklin Road
Highlands, NC 28741 (Map It)

Call: 828-526-4949 (Main)
828-787-2892 (Ceramics Studio)

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This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Learn more at

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Funded in part by a grant from South Arts
in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.