North Asheville's Talented Artists Welcome Public to their Studios - TribPapers

North Asheville’s Talented Artists Welcome Public to their Studios

A whimsical piece of sculpture will certainly bring a smile to your face by Peggy Johnston. Photo courtesy of Beaverdam Studio Tour.

Asheville – Once again, the public will have an opportunity to visit the studios of many of the highly talented artists living in North Asheville. Those who have gone in previous years to the Beaverdam Studio Tour will realize what a privilege this is. The artists welcome visitors to see their jewelry, sculpture, textiles, paper art, photography, ceramics, and many styles of paintings. There will be hand-made art and craft items for sale as well. The artists make themselves available to answer your questions and perhaps take an order for a custom piece. They are willing to converse and describe the process involved in their creation. Many are already selling their pieces in permanent galleries, museums, festivals, and shows throughout the United States. Some are members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

These studio doors are open to the public on Saturday, October 29th, from 10 AM to 5:00 PM and on Sunday, October 30th, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. They are all in North Asheville off Beaverdam Road. A detailed map showing the locations is available online and can be downloaded at or can be picked up at the Asheville Visitors Center, BlackBird Frame & Art at 365 Merrimon Avenue, as well as Vinnie’s Restaurant at 641 Merrimon Avenue.

You will be able to see some awe-inspiring paintings, stunning works of art, some fine hand-crafted jewelry, whimsical pieces in many media, and ceramics. As this is a driving and walking tour, you can determine for yourself which studios you wish to visit and how long you wish to stay there. Many talented artists participate, some original to the tour, some returning to the tour, and some are new Beaverdam residents. This year there will be a total of 26 artists, with 3 guest artists participating. Eight artists are newcomers this year.


The paintings seen in the artists’ studios are all interesting and unique; many styles, sizes, and mediums can be seen on this tour. Susana Abell has been a professional performing and teaching artist for many years. She says, “The current pieces are made using the printmaking process of encaustic monotype. By definition, each print is completely unique and cannot be replicated. Pat Barratt’s paintings explode with color to show recognizable Asheville roads, bridges, and mountains in her bright and bold brush strokes. Contemporary expressionist paintings that often include exotic animals surrounded by colorful florals are created by Susan Devitt. Reb Haizlip’s paintings are more abstract and have been put on canvas and wood. His pastels and acrylics draw mostly from the natural world and his garden and can be seen to be influenced by the American abstract expressionist movement. George Handy has some oil paintings, paintings on sculptural wood forms, as well  hand painted landscape photographs. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, R.J. Reynolds Gallery, and numerous other prestigious venues.Carol C. King paints in oil and water media with soft abstract images. Jill Lawrence exhibits evocative abstract landscape paintings in cold wax and oil. Michelle Marra has abstract paintings that explore texture, color, and shape in a spirited composition. Annette McAlister’s acrylic paintings capture the beauty of the trees and water scenes vividly. Other botanical watercolors with floral garden scenes can be seen in the works of Kathryn B. Phillips, who has a unique style and composition. She explores delicate, colorful flowers surrounded by greenery. Another abstract artist who shows lovely swaths of color and texture is Victoria Pinney. Susan Meyer Sinyai creates a wide variety of paintings in oil and pastel—flowers, striking portraits, colorful landscapes, and even giclee reproductions.

Sculpture and ceramics

Robert Milnes combines clay and copper or steel in geometric and loosely figurative works. Through Arbitrary Forms Studio, he produces unique clay vessels. Robert Milnes’ artworks have been included in over 175 exhibitions nationally, including 28 one-person shows. His works are represented in private and public collections, including the Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian Institute) and many others. He is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

Susan Query’s current focus is on creating hand-built, whimsical stoneware pieces that incorporate natural elements for texture and color. Many of her pieces are functional, and others are purely whimsical and can be used in the home or garden. Her current focus is on creating hand-built, whimsical stoneware pieces that incorporate natural elements for texture and color. Her whimsical snakesticks are created from found vines and sticks and painted with unique patterns.

Lin Barber of Dogwood Pottery makes handcrafted, functional stoneware pottery that reflects the nature of the NC mountains. Her arts and crafts include mugs, bowls, platters, pitchers, and vases. Kathy Mack creates wheel-thrown and hand-built pottery for your home or garden. The distinctive, functional stoneware of Julie Calhoun-Roepnack of JCR Designs with native flora and fauna (bears and sunflowers) on vases and pitchers is striking to see with amazing colors. Her work is well recognized throughout the state. Some fun, functional, and sculptural ceramics will be seen at Peggy Ann Johnston’s Studio. She also gives classes and workshops.

Textiles, Photography, Paper Art, and Jewelry

Amy Campbell is showing some lovely quilted items to hang on the wall, wear or use, such as eyeglass cases, pins, purses, necklaces, and coasters. Bonnie Cooper’s emotionally evocative photographs cover many subjects and settings. Neil Jacobs has an eclectic variety of landscape and provocative photography touching on many themes. Lynne Harty has a huge variety of photographic styles and dramatic subjects   Patti Fertel is a talented paper artist, inspired by vintage ephemera, creating paper collages and book sculptures. Cathy Stryker, Mary Timmer, and Tamela Wells are three talented jewelry artists with individual styles and wonderful wearable designs. Their pieces are strikingly glamorous and will complement any outfit.

A tour of these many studios is a wonderful way to spend the last weekend of October for those interested in art and the creative process. It is amazing that so many talented artists live and produce their art here in North Asheville. The Beaverdam Studio Tour gives visitors a chance to come into the studios of these artists to see their works, talk with them, and purchase beautiful handmade art and crafts.