One of Haywood County Arts Council’s (HCAC’s) biggest events of the year, The Haywood County Studio Tour, takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25. This self-guided tour invites visitors into artists’ studios in both urban and rural locations throughout the county to meet the artists, view demonstrations and purchase art.
“Genres range from traditional craft such as Debbie Mills’ basketry to modern abstract paintings by Haidee Wilson, and everything in between,” says HCAC marketing and membership coordinator Lauren Medford. “It’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays, and the studio tour is a wonderful opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts directly from the artists.”
This year’s tour will include a new first stop, the Canton Hub, located at Canton’s Sorrells Street Park. Several participating artists will be located there, along with food vendors, live music and studio tour maps. Visitors can help paint a mural to benefit Haywood County’s two high school art programs. Tickets to win prizes, including Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival tickets, will be for sale and visitors may donate any amount at the door of each studio for a chance to win a work of art donated by a participating artist.
“We thought a central hub would be a great way to give visitors information and our artists who needed a better location a place to share their work,” says HCAC executive director Morgan Beryl. “We decided to locate in Canton because it is the gateway to Haywood County, and as an organization we want to strengthen our presence in all the towns located within the county.”
Many artists will join the tour for the first time. New locations representing multiple artists include Folkmoot’s Artist Studios and Cold Mountain Art Collective.
“We have 25 local artists of various mediums in the gallery, several displaying and selling their work for the first time,” says Cold Mountain owner and artist Hannah Burnisky. “We will host three artists demonstrating in their respective mediums and will also have refreshments, and a hands-on ceramic painting activity for adults and kids.”
Several new artists will participate at their individual studios as well. They include potters Lisa Conard and Laurey Faye Dean, quilter and beadworker Karen Stockwell, jeweler Debbie Skelly, and painters Laura Parker, Stacey Pottinger, Jenny Buckner, Tina Honerkamp and Haidee Wilson.
“I want to participate in order to display the variety of mediums and subject matter I’ve done over the years,” says Wilson. “Chinese brush painting was the beginning of my art journey in 2010, and it has led me into exploring other mediums, such as pastels, cold wax, watercolors and oils.”
The Haywood County Studio Tour is a free event. For a tour map, complete list of participating artists and other information, visit HaywoodArts.org.