Weaverville Art Safari Celebrates Spring with Free Studio Tours

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Sherida Buchanan

In the spring, Western North Carolina comes alive with native wildflowers, blackberry blossoms, and lush green foliage. In Weaverville, the town's celebrated enclave of artists greets spring with the semi-annual Weaverville Art Safari studio tour.

Held on the weekend of April 26-27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the community event provides the unique opportunity to interact and visit with locally and nationally known artists. Forty artists are participating in this year's event, which encompasses downtown Weaverville and extends into the surrounding areas around Weaverville and Barnardsville. Guests have the chance to meet artists in their studios, hear the stories behind their creations, and learn more about the creative process.

Last year, the event broke previous attendance records as art enthusiasts embraced the opportunity to immerse themselves in a vibrant and living art celebration. "Weaverville is so fortunate to have so much talent," said Cindy Ireland, Weaverville Art Safari Chairperson and owner of Roundhouse Studios. "Our hard-working artists not only thrive on the creative process, but we enjoy sharing how that magic happens with everyone who comes out searching for something new."

The free event is a self-guided driving tour that's perfect for all ages. Guests can split their experiences into two short tours spanning the weekend or enjoy a leisurely daylong tour of the community.

"The beauty of the Art Safari is it allows individuals to create a unique visit that caters to their interests and tastes," said Steven Forbes-deSoule, Weaverville Art Safari founding member and a creator of raku vessels and sculpture. "There's no agenda other than enjoying yourself."

Works of art showcased include handmade pottery, glass, sculpture, jewelry, furniture, paintings, drawings, fiber art, and more. Many studios provide art demonstrations and door prizes.

A special preview party at the Weaverville Town Hall kicks off the event on Friday evening, April 25. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and includes live music, door prizes, hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, desserts, and more. The highlight of the evening is a silent auction featuring art works donated by each participating artist. Event tickets are only $10 at the door, with additional door prize tickets available for $5 each. All event proceeds fund future Weaverville Art Safari events.

Weaverville Art Safari brochures containing maps and artist information are available at greater Asheville-area galleries, restaurants, and shops beginning in April. Brochures will also be distributed from an Art Safari information booth located on Main Street in Weaverville during the Safari weekend. A downloadable brochure with map and full details about participating artists are also available at www.weavervilleartsafari.com.

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