The Fifteenth Annual Come to Leicester Studio Tour takes place Saturday, August 15, and Sunday, August 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The free, self-guided event includes 20 artists exhibiting at eleven locations. Artists will show their work outdoors or in areas where they can distance themselves and provide good ventilation. Hand sanitizer will be available at all locations, as will disposable masks should customers forget to bring their own.
“With so many festivals cancelled because of the impossibility of controlling large crowds, this is an opportunity for those who love arts and crafts to get out and enjoy various modalities in a safer environment,” says stained glass artist Cindy Parks. “I hope visitors feel safe and have an amazing day driving around our beautiful town and supporting the artists who are participating.”
Tour participants are both local and visiting artists from nearby communities, showing work in a variety of mediums including clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paint and wood. Visitors will be able to view unique hand-crafted work, see how it’s made and purchase a piece to take home and enjoy.
“This tour is the official launch of my art career since being forced into retirement due to COVID-19,” says Michael Forehand who creates both two-dimensional art and functional pieces including vanities, fans and light fixtures. “It is the first time that more than one piece of my work has ever been seen by the public.”
All participants will follow NCDHHS and Buncombe County public health guidelines. Anyone feeling sick is asked to stay home. Visitors are asked to remember the three W’s: Wear a mask, Wait six feet apart and Wash your hands. While some disposable masks will be available, visitors are encouraged to bring their own.
“The pandemic has resulted in a lot of income loss for artists,” says Valerie Berlage, who creates functional art. “Hopefully, this will be the beginning of recouping some of that for everyone on the tour.”
Other participating artists include Wesley Angel, John Cummings, Raquel Egosi, Andy Gordon, Barbara Hebert, Cat Jarosz, Beth Hampton Jones, Matt Jones, Sandra Mason, Nirado, Patrick McDermott, Janet Renfro, Suzanne Saunders, Anita Walling, Doc Welty, Brad Worden and Noël Yovovich.
Some artists will only participate on Saturday. This distinction will be noted on each artist’s information page on the tour’s website, as well as on the tour map and brochure.