Ernie Kan named Tryon Arts and Crafts School’s celebrated Artist of the Month

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ernie Kan, one of Tryon Arts and Crafts School’s esteemed artisans, has been named the school’s Artist of the Month. Her artwork will be featured for the month of April in the gallery of the school at 373 Harmon Field Road. Hours are from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ernie has had a love of and talent for art ever since she was a child. After a hiatus of many years (majoring in botany at N.C. State in Raleigh), she went back to it, studying with Don Blackwell (Tryon Arts and Crafts School’s Artist of the Year for 2016) after her son took one of his classes.

Don says of Ernie, “She is one of the most gifted and talented artists I’ve ever worked with, and the most dedicated student I’ve ever had. She has a willingness to take on a challenge and try anything until she has worked it out.”

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Ernie says, “Art is my way to escape, and my husband says I am nicer when taking art classes and around other artists. I love to capture nature and things in the area.”

Her favorite style is pointillism using pen and ink or graphite, but recently she has branched  out, and enjoys working in water color. She frames her artwork using handmade frames made regionally whenever possible. In her free time, she takes pleasure in sewing and creating one-of-a-kind kitchen linens (like pot holders, aprons and hanging towels) and making hand-made greeting cards, selling her crafts at the Columbus Farmers Market and at Tryon Arts and Crafts School’s gift shop. Ernie states she enjoys creating, so most of her crafts are one-of-a-kind.

Besides exhibiting at Tryon Arts and Crafts School’s gallery shows, Ernie has also exhibited at Isothermal Community College and Columbus Town Hall (as part of a Black History Month display) and she is also the owner of the Art by Ernie Kan studio in Columbus.

Tryon Arts and Crafts School is a non-profit organization that exists to provide creative opportunities for everyone through education, instruction and expression of heritage and contemporary arts and crafts in a friendly, stimulating and enriching environment.

For more information about the school, please contact the office at 828-859-8323 or visit

– article submitted

by Cathy Fischer