If you appreciate the arts and great outdoors, this could be the perfect weekend to combine those interests and hit the roads of DeKalb And Cannon Counties
From just over the county line in Silver Point to Short Mountain Road near Woodbury, local artists—members of the Off The Beaten Path Group— will open their studios to the public for their 10th annual studio tour.
The free event, Friday Oct. 23 through Sunday Oct. 25h, runs from 9 until 5 each day. The self-guided tour is timed with the autumn season, leading visitors through the fall colors on numerous hills and hollows, over Center Hill Lake and up Dry Creek valley.
“We spend the whole year preparing for our fall tour,” says wood sculptor William Kooienga, Off The Beaten Path co-president with his wife Sharon. “It’s something we enjoy doing, a meaningful experience for all of us and an important part of our artistic endeavors. “We all get a lot of rewarding feedback from the people who visit us on the tour.”
OffThe Beaten Path’s 10 studios and hospitality center showcase the work of an eclectic mix of 26 artists.They work in traditional or contemporary fine art and craft in glass, clay, fiber, paper, wood, photography or other media. At each studio stop, visitors can meet the artists in their creative environment, see the work of host and guest artists, and purchase or commission an original piece for years of enjoyment.
“We get repeat visitors every year who come back to see our latest creations, and the work of visiting artists featured on each year’s tour,” says Kooienga.
The Kooienga’s Beech Hollow Studios is just one of unique and scenic stops on the tour. “People enjoy the chance to see the alternative, simple lifestyle we’ve chosen for ourselves,” he says. Set deep in the woods, it features the solar powered cedar log home the family built and nearby studio.
Other featured studios include From the Earth and Sea Originals, Fresh Chairs, and Creek Ferry Pottery in Smithville; Bareglass Studio in Silver Point; Cosmic Clay, Creek Bend Pottery, and Liberty Paper Mill near Dowelltown; and Arlene’s Clay Studio and Fuhrman Glass in Cannon County.
“No two studios are alike,” note Kooienga. “The work ranges from small detailed craftwork to large scale pieces, in a full range of media.”
Stella Luna Gallery in Smithville serves as hospitality center for the Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour. Information about all stops, maps and refreshments will be available there. Also on display there is this year’s tour prize, Cosmic Offering, a contemporary sculpture in clay by Louie Colombarini, valued at $750. Tour visitors can register for the free drawing at any of the studio stops with the mailing label from their tour brochure, or by filling out an entry form.
“Anyone who can appreciate the beauty of nature, and fine handmade work will find the tour an enjoyable way to spend some time this weekend,” Kooienga promises.
For more information on the tour, participating artists and a downloadable map and brochure, please visit the group’s website, www.offthebeatenpathtour.com