Thirty Leicester artists will open their studios to the public for the annual Come to Leicester Studio Tour Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This free, self-guided event invites visitors to choose their own tour stops using a printed map of the area, along with pictures of each artist’s work.
“I enjoy meeting my Leicester neighbors near and far,” says potter Cat Jarosz. “It is great to see those who appreciate fine craft come out to support us by making a purchase or just letting us know they appreciate our work.”
Jarosz will offer bowls, baking dishes, mugs and other serveware as well as pet dishes, whimsical vases and a large assortment of colorful earthenware ornaments.
Seven new artists will join the tour this year. Katherine Jost presents fused glass for the home and garden that is influenced by her career in landscape design. Tani Reeves offers acrylic paintings based on observation of people, animals and landscapes rendered in bold color. Pamela Winn creates handpainted silk items including scarves, table runners, bandanas, belts, throw pillows and pillowcases. Kathleen Russell presents handmade dolls, and Ilana Brody and Jan Helm will show their functional and decorative pottery. Kevin Campbell offers turned bowls and other vessels, some embellished with metal, spheres or optical devices, and some containing hidden messages.
“My little shop is simple and small,” says Campbell, “but I hope visitors will enjoy seeing how the lathe works and seeing the different stages of the turning process.”
The Come to Leicester Studio Tour route takes visitors through some of the most scenic rural countryside in WNC. Tour stops include participants’ personal studios as well as three hub locations where several artists gather: Leicester Community Center, Sandy Mush Community Center and Addison Farms Vineyard.
“Visitors can enjoy a glass of wine, music on the veranda and views of the vineyard and mountains while viewing art,” says painter Gail Powell, who, along with four other artists will display her work at Addison Farms. “The atmosphere is happy and relaxed, and Dianne and Jeff Frisbee and their staff are welcoming and helpful.”
Detailed brochures with maps will be available at various locations in Leicester and the surrounding communities before the tour, as well as at each stop on tour days. Bold signs along the route direct visitors to individual stops. Food sponsors along the route are identified on the map. They include Grateful Roots Market & Deli, Gossett Grocery, Sovereign Remedies Exchange, and a cookout at the Big Sandy United Methodist Church (Saturday only).
Visit CometoLeicester.org to view all participating artists and print out a map to guide your tour.