17th Annual 'Come to Leicester' Artist's Studio Tour This Weekend - TribPapers

17th Annual ‘Come to Leicester’ Artist’s Studio Tour This Weekend

Painted tile by Julie Larson, a new artist this year. Photo submitted.

Asheville – Western North Carolina is a Mecca for artists of all mediums, and Leicester, NC is no exception. The talent in this area is amazing, and the landscape is breathtaking.

For the 17th year in a row, artists in this small community will open their studios to the public for the annual Come to Leicester Studio Tour. This free, self-guided tour will be happening August 20th and 21st, 10 AM to 5 PM each day. The Come to Leicester Studio Tour has for many years proven to be an enduring tradition, enjoyed equally by the artists and the community in which they live, work, and serve.

Come see a wide variety of fine art and crafts in beautiful Leicester, NC. Photo submitted.
Come see a wide variety of fine art and crafts in beautiful Leicester, NC. Photo submitted.

Whether you have been on an art tour before or not, you are in for a treat. The Come to Leicester Artist’s Studio Tour route takes visitors through some of the most scenic rural countryside in Western North Carolina. Along the way, one can view beautiful, hand-crafted work and meet the artists who create it. Visitors will find many types of fine art and crafts, including handmade brooms, unique pottery, different types of paintings, iron work, jewelry, fiber art, stained glass, mosaic, enamel, and mixed media.

Meet the Artists Where They Work

Tour stops include artists’ personal studios as well as 3 hub locations where several artists are showing their work: Leicester Community Center, Sandy Mush Community Center, and Addison Farms Vineyard. Many artists open the doors to their home studios only for this weekend, and it is a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of our mountain community while getting a glimpse behind the scenes of an artist’s life and work.

Barbara Hebert has participated in the tour for four years now. Hebert shared why this is her favorite art show, “I love the community of Leicester and value my association with the artists here. The Tour is important to the community because it is unique in being a single event that recognizes and takes pride in what Leicester has to offer. Those who live in Leicester are familiar with its unspoiled beauty and rich history that inspires its artists. For the artists, the tour is an opportunity to share all of this as they open their studios and meet those that appreciate beautiful art.” Hebert added, “The Come to Leicester Tour offers a unique opportunity to travel the beautiful rural countryside and have unique studios to visit, friends to meet, delicious food to sample, and treasures to bring home. Offered only once a year, it is an experience no one should miss!”

How Do You Know Where To Go?

Visitors choose their own tour stops using a printed full-color map of the area. To help you find the artists you wish to visit or all of the artists, the map has pictures of each artist’s work. These detailed brochures with maps will be available at various locations in Leicester and the surrounding communities before the Tour, as well as at each stop on the Tour days. Bold signs along the route direct visitors to the individual stops. To view all the artists and print out a map to guide your tour go to http://cometoleicester.org.

Food and Drinks Along the Way

Experiencing all of the incredible art on display might work up an appetite, so if you’re hungry along the way, you can stop in at one of the food sponsors, all of which are identified on the map: Grateful Roots, Gossett Grocery, the Salty Goat Grill, and Sawhorse. You might also want to enjoy a cider at Noble Cider or a wine-tasting at Addison Farms Vineyard, a favorite tour stop and host to several artist displays. Enjoy the best of mountain hospitality!

Artists New and Old Join the Tour This Year

Artists returning to the Tour are:  Wesley Angel, Adrienne Blum, John Cummings, Joe Desousa, Peggy Eckel, Raquel Egosi, Marlow Gates, Barbara Hebert, Jean Hord, Cat Jarosz, Matt Jones, Kathy Mack, Patrick McDermott, Terri Owen, Cindy Parks, Suzanne Saunders, Nirado Sloan, Jennifer Sparks, Anita Walling, Doc Welty, Brad Worden, and Noel Yovovich. Twelve additional artists are new to the Tour this year: Sarah Bell, Kim Beller, Douglas Canivet, Beth Elliott, Brock Flamion, Judith Hallman, Julie & Tyrone Larson, Victoria Miceli, Gail Powell, Steve Schroeder, and Venessa Zadeh.

You can find additional information about the art, and read bios and inspiration from the artists, on the Come to Leicester Tour Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ComeToLeicester, and the Instagram page, https://www.instagram.com/cometoleicester/?hl=en.