ASHE COUNTY — Ashe County has had artists among its rural population for a long time, but where they work has not often been visible to the public eye. On Aug. 1, this will change as Ashe County hosts its first Studio Tour.
The Ashe County Studio Tour, sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council, is a one-day, self-guided, free event in which 18 Ashe County artists open their studios to the public. People who take the tour will discover art studios located all over the county – in and around West Jefferson, Jefferson, Crumpler, Laurel Springs, Todd, Creston, Warrensville and Lansing. Many of the studios are not usually open to the public, so this is a rare opportunity for people to see where these artists work and, at select locations, to watch them as they create their art. And it doesn’t hurt that getting there takes you through some of the most beautiful mountain countryside the High Country has to offer.
In the town of West Jefferson, people who take the Ashe County Studio Tour can see Ashe County’s signature quilt squares by Renee and Syndi Brooks, folk art by James “Dawg”Woods, 3-D stained glass work by Camille Morgan, and pottery by David Bridge. Within 10 miles of West Jefferson folks can see Berkeley Brown’s intricate batiks, and two different styles of pottery at two different locations including Cheryl William’s Grassy Creek Pottery and Dottie Baker’s High Meadows Pottery.
Just outside of Jefferson, Mary Ann Prack will present her ceramic sculpture and Tom Wooten will display his hand-forged works for home and garden. In downtown Todd, Helen Barnes-Rielly will have her photography on view, and Martha Enzmann will present her multi-media paintings, prints, indoor/outdoor sculpture and glass designs.
Within five miles of Warrensville, the public can view Kelly Clampitt’s photography and Jane Munroe Floyd’s botanical collage lampshades, sun catchers, and floral jewelry (at the same location), as well as pottery by Barbara Sears. In Creston, at the North Fork Gallery in the Riverview Community Center, folks taking the Ashe County Studio Tour will see Susan Meredith’s handspun fiber arts and jewelry. Within 10 miles of Lansing, Delores Somers will show her hand hooked, primitive, wool rugs and Jennifer Gardiner will present her pottery. In the Laurel Springs area, the public can see Cynthia Dixon’s paintings.
All art on the Ashe County Studio Tour is handmade, original work designed and produced by the artists in Ashe County. Some of the artists have shown regionally, nationally or internationally. Some have made their art for over four decades and some are relatively new to their art forms, but all have a passion for what they do and where they do it.
Those who’d like to meet Ashe County’s artists and see their work should start their day at the Ashe County Arts Council, where they can read a bit about each artist and pick up a map to the artists’ studios. There will be Studio Tour signs along the roadways to help people find their destinations.
The studios are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1st.
For more information, contact Jane Lonon at [email protected] or call 336-846-2787.