By Travis Miller
June 5, 2014. For 21 years, the Toe River Arts Council has hosted the Toe River Studio Tour, showcasing art from the region’s many talented artists. This year’s June tour will be held from June 6 to June 8 and will feature 104 participating artists and craftspeople, which includes 95 individual artists and nine galleries.
The Toe River Studio Tour is free and self-guided, leading tourers through the hills, rivers and valleys situated between Mt. Mitchell and Roan Mountain to get a chance to meet the artists, see where they work and see where they live.
The tour will be held from 12 to 4 p.m. on Friday, June 6 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8. There will also be a reception held on June 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Toe River Arts Council Gallery in Spruce Pine.
In order to experience the tour, attendees will need a Toe River Studio Tour Guide found here.
Began as an annual event in 1993 with only around 20 participating artists, the Studio Tour has become a success and is now held biannually during the first weekends of every June and December.
“For over two decades now, we’ve developed a broad reputation as a first class arts event,” said Denise Cook, Executive Director of Toe River Arts Council.
“People come for all over the country to buy from artists whose work they have seen in galleries and museums. Artists whose names they have read over and over in art books live and work here.”
The tour presents a look at these skilled craftspeople such as soap-makers, blacksmiths, woodworkers, jewelry-makers and artists working in nearly every medium imaginable, including oil paint, pastels, ceramics, glass, stoneware, metal, textiles, watercolors, porcelain, wood, photography, wax and more.
“It could almost be written that there is something for every art lover. So much to see. The art is the cake, the region the icing,” said Kate Groff, Programs Coordinator of the Toe River Arts Council
“Big city visitors can experience what it is like to live and work in small town America where your nearest neighbor may be more than a stone’s throw away, where artists have chosen to work day after day in an environment of respect and fellowship with other folks who call the Toe River Arts area their home and where that stone is more likely to strike some well-crafted piece of art than the ground.”
For more information about the event, visit ToeRiverArts.org or contact the Toe River Arts Council at either 828-682-7215 or 828-765-0520.