The Fall Studio Tour Preview Exhibition opens in the Kokol Gallery, in Toe River Arts’ Spruce Pine location at 269 Oak Ave, October 29 and runs through the end December 2022. This exhibition gives visitors an opportunity to have a glimpse into each studio and plan their route. It’s also a great place to begin the tour or take a break from a day of non-stop art and artists.
There’s something breathtaking and awe-inspiring about driving through the mountains of western North Carolina in the Fall. The way the trees show off by turning vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange before leaving bare branches to the crisp winds and snowy days of winter, reminds us that nature herself is the original artist.
For more than a quarter century, the Toe River Arts Studio Tour has intrigued those who make the journey to visit places of inspiration and creation. Situated between Roan Mountain which boasts the world’s largest rhododendron garden and Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, the Toe River Arts Studio Tour is a free, self-guided journey of the arts. This arts adventure through Mitchell and Yancey Counties will take visitors along the meandering Toe River, across its many bridges, around barns, acres of fields and miles of forests all while visiting the 83 talented studio artists who often take inspiration from the mountains they call home and 8 galleries featuring local and international art.
It doesn’t matter if you live up the hill or across the state. The Studio Tour provides an adventure for the intrepid seeker of the art experience. Artist studios come in many iterations—the building off to the side of the house, or across the field or down the road or right off the main road or down a gravel one-lane. Two-stories with a gallery space or small and cozy with a table set up or cleared off for display. Still there are others that devote a corner to each artist sharing the space. Wherever and however they are set up, the studios are exciting places to visit because they demonstrate the dynamic process used to create a finished piece. Every artist has their own way of telling a story, inviting visitors to ask questions, hold their work, and share a moment.
The art is as diverse as the artists who create it and features the work of glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, fiber artists, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, and woodworkers.