Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Below is the information about the Guild and about the jury process. It is intended to introduce you to the organization and assist you through the application process. Membership in the Guild lasts for the lifetime of the juried member, so long as Southern Highland Craft Guild standards of quality are maintained. The Guild hopes to provide a stage for artistic growth throughout the lifetime and career of each Guild member.


Southern Highland Craft Guild membership is open to craftspeople who reside in the mountain counties in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

(Click to view list of counties) 


  • “Resident” is defined as any applicant/member who is domiciled within the counties approved by the Guild. Please visit the Southern Highland Craft Guild website for a full list of eligible counties.
    • “Domicile” denotes one’s permanent, established home as distinguished from a temporary, although actual, place of residence.
  • A notarized residency affidavit, verifying legal residence, will be required of all new members. A residency affidavit will be mailed to you upon acceptance into the Guild.


The Southern Highland Craft Guild application process is comprised of two parts:

  • Part One: Image Jury 
    • Part One-A: Written – Applicants will submit their personal information, craft classification, membership category, media designation, and answers to the application questionnaire.
    • Part One-B Images– Applicants will submit five (5) images of their work, along with a description of each image.
  • Part Two: Object Jury
    • Applicants will submit five (5) of their physical items to the Guild Jury for review.


There are no quotas either for the total number of applicants accepted or for any media designation.

  • An incomplete application may be returned to the applicant without being juried.
  • This is an anonymous jury, and we request that you do not put your name on the images or any other attachments.
  • The applicant must pass Part One: Image Jury to proceed to Part Two: Object Jury.

Application Part One: A – WRITTEN

Application Part One: B – IMAGES


Image Jury is the process wherein the Southern Highland Craft Guild jurors review the applications and preliminarily screen images of the work of potential new members. The jurors meet in person to look at digital images on a computer. They review and discuss the images in each application.


  • The jury is looking for a cohesive body of work that shows distinction in design and craftsmanship.
  • After review, jurors vote yes or no on each application. It takes a unanimous decision to reject an applicant during Part One: Image Jury.

The Southern Highland Craft Guild image jury consists of the Fair Committee chair, the Standards Committee chair, and the Board of Trustees’ liaison to the Standards Committee.

  • If the applicant’s SHCG Membership Application Part One: Image Jury is accepted, he/she is sent a letter with instructions on how to proceed to Part Two: Object Jury. Notification will be made by postal mail within fourteen days of the jurying session.


Object Jury is the process wherein applicants who have passed the Part 1: Image Jury, submit five (5) physical pieces with the Part 2: Object Jury application by shipping or in person to the Southern Highland Craft Guild for the jury to review.


  • The Southern Highland Craft Guild object jury consists of seven (7) voting members of the Standards Committee plus two (2) alternates. The Standards Committee is composed of Guild members appointed to the committee by the Board of Trustees for their recognized experience, knowledge, and integrity. The Guild tries to have all media represented by the members of the Standards Committee. If the committee has questions about a specific media, they consult with Guild members who have expertise in that media.


The Standards Committee of the Southern Highland Craft Guild is looking for a cohesive body of highly developed work, comprised of original design, excellent craftsmanship, and supreme technical achievement. Submitted works should be mature in execution and should support an overall concept. In addition to the cohesive body of work, each of the applicant’s individual pieces are judged for design and craftsmanship. The work should be presented professionally. For example, garments and textiles should be pressed and hung properly; furniture should be dusted and clean. Good design is demonstrated by original work that shows excellent composition and a regard for color, texture and proportion. Good design marks an individual’s work as distinctive and is recognizable as belonging to that maker. The design must be compatible with the functionality of the piece.

Excellence in craftsmanship is demonstrated by work that shows a mastery of the medium and techniques that are beyond basic and intermediate skills. The work should be executed without technical flaw. Attention to detail is essential. The work should be extremely well finished.


  • The Heritage Craft Membership is based on a point system. Heritage Craft applicants apply in a traditional craft or a folk art and answer a series of questions that are graded by the jury. The results determine whether or not the applicant qualifies for Heritage Craft membership. Criteria include family tradition, residency, materials, function, etc. A complete description of the criteria and associated points can be found in the Heritage Craft Membership application available from Laura Lanier, [email protected].
  • Heritage Craft Membership is governed by the same guidelines as General Craft Membership. Even though an applicant may qualify in the Heritage Classification, the Guild standards of quality must still be attained.
  • Please contact Laura Lanier at 828-523-4110, ext. 301 or [email protected] for details on applying as a Heritage Member.


  1. An object must be handmade.
    • Handmade Objects are designated as handmade when designed and made by the applicant within the Guild’s region, or under the direction of the applicant, using hand tools or hand directed machine tools (such as a wood lathe or potter’s wheel).
    • 80% of the work must be produced by the individual. It is preferred that any other components be produced by another guild member and/or be produced within the Guild’s operating region.
  2. An object must exhibit excellence in craftsmanship.
  3. An object must exhibit excellence in design.
  4. The durability of the object must be appropriate to the item.
  5. An object must have obvious integrity (no misrepresentation).
  6. An object must be original in design (no plagiarism by the applicant) or be a historical reproduction with appropriate documentation under Heritage Craft membership guidelines.
  7. An object must be produced within the Guild’s geographical region.


Multiple production items must meet all the following guidelines:

  1. The original design or original adaptation of traditional design is made by the applicant.
  2. Multiple production techniques must require skills to be executed and performed by the applicant craftsperson or under his or her direct supervision.
  3. The object must have a significant handmade integral component done by the applicant or under his or her direct supervision.
  4. The aesthetic and/or artistic value of the object must be based substantially on its handmade component.
  5. Misrepresentation of materials is prohibited.
    • Labeling: If there is a difference between an object’s perceived and actual medium, it must be so labeled.
    • Media Designation: If more than 20% of the object medium is different from the juried media designation, the application must be made to the Standards Committee jury for an additional medium designation.

If you have questions about any of the information provided, please contact Laura Lanier at 828/523-4110, x301 or [email protected]. We look forward to receiving your application.

Schedule for 2024:
Image Jury #1
Deadline for receiving images: February 19
Notifications to applicants: March 1

Image Jury #2
Deadline for receiving images: April 12
Notifications to applicants: May 3

Object Jury #2
Craft objects due at Folk Art Center: August 19, 20
Part Two Jury: August 23
Notification to applicants: September 6

Image Jury #3
Deadline for receiving images: November 8
Notification to applicants: November 22



ALABAMA: Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Marshall, Morgan, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, Walker, Winston

GEORGIA: Banks, Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Gilmer, Gordon, Habersham, Hall, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, Walker, Whitfield, White

KENTUCKY: Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Clinton, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, McCreary, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley, Wolfe

MARYLAND: Alleghany, Frederick, Garrett, Washington

NORTH CAROLINA: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Surry, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey

SOUTH CAROLINA: Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg

TENNESSEE: Anderson, Bedford, Benton, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carroll, Carter, Cheatham, Chester, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Davidson, Decatur, Dekalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Hawkins, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Loudon, Macon, Marion, Marshall, Maury, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Montgomery, Moore, Morgan, Overton, Perry, Pickett, Polk, Putnum, Rhea, Roane, Robertson, Rutherford, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Stewart, Sullivan, Sumner, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Williamson, Wilson

VIRGINIA: Albemarle, Alleghany, Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Bland, Bedford, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Clarke, Craig, Dickenson, Fauquier, Floyd, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Greene, Highland, Lee, Loudoun, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Page, Patrick, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rappahannock, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Tazewell, Warren, Washington, Wise, Wythe

WEST VIRGINIA: The Entire State

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