A new immersive art installation is coming to Asheville

Explore Appalachia in the aftermath of a mysterious, world-changing event.

Center for Craft

The Center for Craft is at 67 Broadway St. in downtown Asheville.

Photo by Gabe Swinney

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Come late September, the Center for Craft basement will transform into a strange new world, with foreign ecologies, currencies, and customs dreamt up by Asheville artists.

The immersive installation, titled “Krafthouse 2023: Forest of the New Trees,” will have a three-week run in downtown Asheville from September 28 through October 13. Taking inspiration from famed, experimental displays like Meow Wolf, Burning Man, and Punchdrunk’s “Sleep No More,” the exhibit will be entirely self-guided, with tours that run every 10 minutes and last for about half an hour.

Jeannie Regan, who is a sculptor and director of SkillSet at UNC Asheville, is at the helm of Krafthouse as its inaugural creative director. Other local artists, who are yet to be announced, will join Regan in an exploration of how a small, self-sustaining community could make itself anew in the wake of a major disaster.

Wondering what that might look like?

According to a press release, visitors can expect a “night market atmosphere [that] will welcome visitors, who will be able to make, gift, and trade goods with the artists and each other, with the opportunity to take home keepsakes — as well as leave their own imprint on the space.”

The theme is inspired partially by the early days of the pandemic, when community members had to work together to survive and thrive in the aftermath. But this theme of resilience could be applied to any number of “post-major events” that humanity faces.

“Craft plays into all of that, because what we make says so much about us as individuals,” shares Regan. “What we make says something about what we want the future to be.”

For those who want to further immerse themselves in the exhibit, costumes and other materials will be available for visitors. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now.

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