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High Country Tour de Art to Open June 23

Vases sculpted by Maggie Black


The High Country Tour de Art opens its doors Saturday, June 23 from 10am until 5 pm and every fourth Saturday there after until November. This self-guided tour is a chance to peek inside some private art studios as well as enjoy special events at local galleries. Featuring a mix of fine arts and crafts in every price range, this event truly offers a treasure for most everyone.

“We have participants all the way from Linville to Valle Crucis,” explains Mike Hill, one of the originators of the Tour and owner of Art Purveyors in Foscoe. “Every single one is ready to “talk art” and share their special offerings on this designated Saturday.”

Kent Paulette painting outside Studio 140

Well known and loved galleries such as Carlton Gallery, the Alta Vista Gallery and Sally Nooney’s Gallery have been on the Tour since its inception. “It’s wonderful how the local art community has come together for ten years,” adds Toni Carlton, “we always plan something special and enjoy being part of the effort. It’s great for tourists because we are all open rain or shine.”

New this year will be the BE Artists Gallery and Kent Paulette’s Studio 140, both in downtown Banner Elk, and Tammy Brinkley’s Periwinkle Pass in the Shops at Mill Ridge in Foscoe. All three offer new work not previously seen on the Tour.

Returning artists are Maggie Black Pottery and Cindy Michaud Art, both in Foscoe, and the 87 Ruffin Street Gallery next door to the Hampton General Store in Linville. The route passes by plenty of food and drink opportunities, so plan on using the entire day. Yellow rack cards with maps can be picked up at any of the art locations or just clip the one shown here to get yourself started.

From the smallest earrings to large sculptures, from miniature art to expertly thrown pottery, the Tour offers the best of High Country art. You may live here all year ‘round and need new art for the mantle or you might be an out-of-towner looking for the perfect gift; either way this is a day for you.


Oil painting by Shelia Hancock