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Meet Local Artists on the New and Improved Ashe County Studio Tour This Saturday

Rev4 Tour Map

By Jessica Isaacs

After a few years away, the Ashe County Arts Council brings back one of its favorite traditions this weekend, and it’s bigger and better than before!

For several years, the arts council hosted it’s annual Studio Hop event in the summer, which included a network of local artists who would open up their own spaces at the same time, giving Hop guests a chance to check them all out throughout the day.

Like many aspects of the economy in the area, the local art scene and its followers took a hit after the recession set in and the council stopped hosting the event for a while.Studio Tour Logo Color

“We stopped the Studio Hop in 2008 when gas prices first went through the roof, and it sort of took a hiatus,” said ACAC Executive Director Jane Lonon. “We realized a year or so ago that the time was ripe for this kind of event again, and that it was missed in this county.

“Ashe County has such a strong group of artists that are working, producing, exhibiting, showcasing and winning awards. We wanted to find additional ways for their work to be seen.”

This free, self-guided tour of local studios is back this year with a new name, the Ashe County Studio Tour, and added stops on Saturday.

Lonon said the tour is similar in concept to the arts council’s popular gallery crawl series, but is designed to draw attention to another aspect of the art world.

“The crawls basically showcase finished work, but the studio tours will give people a chance to see artists at work,” Lonon said. “They can see the steps involved in how they create the art and what it takes to produce the incredible things that are being produced here in Ashe County.”

“Our focus is showcasing the many fine artists and craftspeople in the county, as well as the educational process of how their work is created. We’re adding value to the element of tourism in using the arts and the studio tour to attract people to Ashe County and give them another artists’ event to enjoy.”

Check out the map and set your own itinerary or stop by event headquarters at the arts council, 303 School Ave. in West Jefferson, to pick up maps and check out the gallery shop before heading out on the road.

In addition to the arts center, the following studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday for the tour:

  • Renee and Syndi Brooks, Quilt Square Girls, barn quilts and more
  • James Wood, Dawg Lot
  • David Bridge, Whiskey Mountain Pottery
  • Camille Morgan, Glass by Camille
  • MaryAnn Prack, Prack Art Studio
  • Cheryl Williams, Grassy Creek Pottery
  • Cynthia Dixon, Cynthia Dixon’s Fine Art Studio
  • Dottie Baker, High Meadows Pottery
  • Martha Enzmann, MgE Gallery
  • Helen Barnes-Rielly, Todd Mercantile
  • Thomas Wooten, Fiddler Forge
  • Susan Meredith, North Fork Gallery
  • Kelly Clampitt, photography
  • Jane Munroe Floyd, Shades of Nature
  • Barbara Sears, Mudpuppies Clay
  • Delores Somers, Maple Hill Wool Studio
  • Jennifer Gardiner, Gardiner Pottery
  • Berkeley rown, Broccoli Batiks

Click here to visit the ACAC online for more information.