Toe River boasts one of nation’s oldest studio tours
Hugging the curves of the mountains of Western North Carolina is Toe River Arts, one of the most significant concentrations of artists in the nation. Here you will find the journey of the arts and the art of the journey inextricably intertwined, celebrating the seekers and the finders.
At the close of the 20th century, a handful of visual artists got together in one of the many studios peppered around the Burnsville area and decided that it would be a great idea to open their studios to visitors for just a day. No pack up, load up, drive to a show or festival. No boxing and taking to UPS, or getting in the van and driving deliveries around the east coast. On the other end, visitors could come and experience what it’s like to live in the quiet mountains of the Blue Ridge and to better understand their inspiration.
Today the Toe River Studio Tour is perhaps the largest and the longest running studio tour in the country. Here you meet over 100 artists, working, talking and displaying their work in home studios and galleries. The event is a free self-guided adventure. Roadside signs help visitors identify a Toe River Arts individual studio, especially helpful on back roads where studios are hidden from view or serve as a residence.
The Toe River Arts Council maintains a gallery and offices in Burnsville as well as a second gallery in Spruce Pine.
For hours, exhibits and other news, go to www.toeriverarts.org.