The June Toe River Studio Tour is right around the corner—next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 6-8, 2014. It’s a time when artists and residents in Mitchell and Yancey Counties open the doors of their studios and our community for all to visit.
Businesses of all varieties, support the Tour by purchasing ads in the bi-annual guide handed out all over the region, in cities as far away as Atlanta and as close as the local dentist’s office. Even after the Tour is officially over, the guides still provide a useful tool for artist location and availability and a reference of local stores and services.
And each Tour seems to have its own equilibrium. The number of artists vary each tour, but usually hovers around 100 and the ratios remain equal¬—clay artists outnumber glass workers 3 to 1, and glass outnumbers metal and wood workers the same. But no matter what the numbers, no two artists produce the same work. Each offers their own interpretation of their medium; some choosing to work in more than one. For example, Shawn Ireland and Lisa Clague work in clay and on canvas; Edwina Bringle and Constance Schulze both in textiles with Constance adding jewelry and Edwina with glass, Rolf Holmquist has worked in wood and on paper for decades. Also are Cynthia Bringle (glass and clay), Lisa Joerling (clay and metal), Yaffa Todd (glass and clay), Selena Glass and Metal (it’s all in the name), Carol Bailey (2-dimensional and jewelry), and John D. Richards with a list of media too mixed to list. Visitors are often pleasantly surprised when they open the studio door. There is so much talent in our two-county region, and the TRAC Studio Tour is the best way (twice a year) to show your appreciation.
Hours are noon to 4pm on Friday with a “meet-the-artist” reception at the Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery that evening from 5 to 7pm. On Saturday and Sunday, studios and galleries will be open from 10am to 5pm. To take the free tour, pick up a tour guide (available at either TRAC galleries, participating studios, galleries, and local businesses; guides are also available at many of the local businesses.) Follow the red-arrowed tour signs to your destination. For more information about the tour, the exhibition through June 14 at the Spruce Pine Gallery, or the reception, please call 828.682.7215 or 828.765.0520. The Spruce Pine Gallery is located at 269 Oak Avenue and Burnsville TRAC Gallery, 102 W. Main Street.
TRAC is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 to promote the arts in Mitchell and Yancey Counties. For more information about the Arts Council’s educational arts programs, visit the website, www.toeriverarts.org.