The Weaverville Art Safari Spring Studio Tour will be held Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The biannual Safari, held again in the fall, provides a chance to visit the studios of about 50 artists working in all mediums. The tour is self-guided and free.
A preview party will be held Friday, April 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at three of Weaverville’s downtown galleries: Artisans on Main, Mangum Pottery and Miya Gallery. A $10 admission charge for the preview party includes a silent auction; raffle and door prizes; beer, wine and snacks; and the chance to meet artists participating in the tour.
Featuring donated work by artists on the tour, “the silent auction is a fantastic opportunity to see a preview of all the artists’ work in one place, meet them and bid on your next treasure,” says Denby Dale, artist and administrator of the Art Safari. “This party brings all kinds of art-loving folks together and is a super fun social event to kick off Safari weekend.”
The Art Safari’s two tours began in 2001 when local business owners were looking for a way to bring people to town during slower months. “They realized that our town had become a place with many artisans, not only in town but tucked into the nooks and crannies of Reems Creek and down toward the French Broad,” says Rob Mangum, co-owner of Mangum Pottery. “That was back when Weaverville was much quieter than it is now.”
Among those participating are new and veteran artists working in mediums including ceramics, glass, photography, sculpture, painting, jewelry, furniture, wood art, drawing, fiber art and mixed media. “This event has a loyal following and has become something the community really looks forward to,” says Dale. “We have a number of great local sponsors for the event and we are proud to have so many talented and diverse artists living and contributing to our creative community. The opportunity for them to share their studios with the public provides more intimate interaction with the work and the process. It’s a comfortable and stimulating setting for visitors to ask questions, and artists can get out of their work mode and have the chance to dialogue about what they do.”
To learn more about participating artists and to find a map, visit WeavervilleArtSafari.com. Brochures are available at visitor centers, local businesses and coffee shops throughout the greater Asheville area. During the tour, visitors are encouraged to stop by an information booth with volunteers, t-shirts, maps and brochures that will be set up on Main Street in Weaverville. Artisans on Main, Mangum Pottery and Miya Gallery are located at 14, 16, and 20 North Main Street, respectively.