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Toe River Studio Tour: A Journey of the Arts

Artist, Selena Glass & Metal

The summer edition of the Toe River Studio Tour, sponsored by the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC), will take place Friday through Sunday, June 3–5. This self-guided tour will lead you through the beautiful scenery of Mitchell and Yancey Counties—a perfect way to spend a late spring weekend. A total of 107 artists (including seven new to the tour) will open their doors to the public.

Along the way (look for the red and white roadside signs that will help guide you), you’ll be treated to paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood, fiber, soap, basketry, metal, and more. These artists, the organizers say, will have creations that range from the functional to the “I have a place for that!”

Josh Brooke Coté, a wire artist with a studio near Bakersville, told The Laurel, “The TRAC tour is a great personal way to see the inner workings of artists, our studios, and how our art is made.” He added, “It’s a true pleasure for me to deepen my relationship with my customers (and) the art loving community.”

Toe River Studio Tour

Artist, Colin O’Reilly

Chuck Young and Deana Blanchard, of Selena Glass & Metal, remark, “Friends and patrons see where and how the ‘magic’ happens, as well as how the beauty of our surroundings inspires and influences our work.”

A number of the artists will be sharing spaces to help make your tour planning even easier. And this year, the tour includes two just-opened galleries—one in Spruce Pine and the other in Bakersville—bringing the participating gallery total to ten.

This year’s tour features expanded hours and will run from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. each of the three days. The hours will be the same for the winter tour (the tour is always the first weekend in June and again in December).

TRAC Gallery, located at 269 Oak Avenue in Spruce Pine, is hosting an exhibit that opened in May and will run through the end of the tour that features works by each of the participating artists. These pieces are displayed geographically to help you plan your tour route. There will be a reception at the gallery, honoring the artists and welcoming visitors, beginning at 5:30 P.M. on Friday, June 3.

For more information contact, call 828.682.7215 or 828.765.0520. Also, visit for updates about where to stay, where to eat, and the 44-page Tour Guide that describes all the participating artists and galleries. The Guide is also available at retailers and organizations around the region.

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