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Top Notch Artists Open Studios—off Beaverdam Road

By Dasha Morgan

The third annual Beaverdam Studio Tour takes place this coming weekend. Thirty highly talented artists are inviting the public to view some of their amazing pieces of art in their homes and studios—from paintings, sculptures, glass, paper, ceramics, jewelry and textile art. This self-guided tour, takes place on Saturday, October 26, 10am-5pm and Sunday, October 27, noon to 5pm. A map of the area pinpoints the studio locations and shows cul-de-sacs for parking and walking to the studios. Even with rain and light snow the very first year, the tour year was highly successful. Hopefully, Mother Nature will offer lots of sunshine this year.

Judy Levine creates a wide variety of scarves and shawls, using silk gauze, Mulberry silk, felt, and woven fibers in innovative ways, and recently started using her own color dyes.
Judy Levine creates a wide variety of scarves and shawls, using silk gauze, Mulberry silk, felt, and woven fibers in innovative ways, and recently started using her own color dyes.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to meet with the artists, purchase some of their pieces, and discover what great art and craft is being produced right in our North Asheville neighborhood. A few artists from last year had to drop out for personal reasons, and and 5 new artists were added this year. For now, we are keeping the number at 30 artists who live and work off Beaverdam Road Asheville is very lucky indeed to have so many immensely talented artists including Bob Stephan, Robert Winkler, Robert Milnes, George Handy, Julyan Davis and Judy Levine who are all nationally recognized artists, who are represented by fine galleries. They are immensely talented in their field. With over 1000 people attending last year, sales were brisk, and the tour was considered very successful by all. After this weekend, the artists only open their studios by appointment. ” said Karen Milnes, who has been coordinating the tour for the last three years.

Art Tour Map
Art Tour Map

New artists joining the tour this year are: Julyan Davis, Lynne Matheson, Patti Fertel, and Bob Stephan and his daughter, Elise.

Julyan Davis is an English-born artist who has painted the American South for thirty years. As he said on his website: “I paint for storytellers—novelists, songwriters, poets. I also paint for those who love history. There has always been a narrative thread in my work. Even when a scene was notably empty of incident, I have strived for a sense that something vital happened here, or that something will.” His work is exhibited internationally and is in many public and private collections. You can view more on his website www.julyandavis.com.

Bob Stephan blows glass and also creates laminated glass sculptures with different kinds of glass including Dichroic optical coated glass.
Bob Stephan blows glass and also creates laminated glass sculptures with different kinds of glass including Dichroic optical coated glass.

Julyan Davis generally works in oil and is represented through Blue Spiral Gallery. Recent acquisitions include the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, the Greenville County Museum of Art (SC), the Morris Museum (Augusta, GA) and the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion and Western Residence. He has been working with his long-time student Lynne Matheson, whose paintings will also be showcased on the tour. In addition, Davis is selling raffle tickets to raise funds for the beloved poet Glenis Redmond, who has been diagnosed with a-life-threatening Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of plasma. Five hundred tickets are being sold at $30 a ticket for a painting “Glen Falls” 50” x 38” valued at $14,000. Make checks payable to Glenis Redmond for a raffle ticket.

Patti Fertel has a talent and interest in making book sculptures, altered books, paper dolls and cards. These artistic creations often show stylish and historic outfits inspired by vintage books and paper arts. “I’ve always created art and realized that collage has been an on-going medium for me. I’ve collected and created paper dolls since 1974 and have sold them nationally. They are geared to adult collectors, but some are appropriate for older children. About 8 years ago, I began creating book sculptures that will be my main focus on the Beaverdam Tour. The book sculptures are free-standing or framed and are based on folded books with added sculptural forms.”

Bob Stephan blows glass and also creates laminated glass sculptures with different kinds of glass including Dichroic optical coated glass. The results are quite high-tech, beautiful, and very intriguing. He has been working with glass since 1970 in own studio that is detached from his home at 91 Webb Cove Road. He makes his own glass out of sand, the old fashioned way. He received a BFA in Ceramics and a MFA in Glass. You can see some of his work at www.hisglassart.com. Locally, he is represented by Blue Spiral One Gallery. He is happy to open his studio by appointment during the year, but please call first: (828) 712-9190. He shares his studio with his daughter Elise, who currently is creating ornaments sold at the Folk Art Center on the Parkway, making jewelry and casting glass. She studied in New York and now lives in Weaverville with her two sons.

Judy Levine is a fiber artist with an extraordinary talent for color and style. Her About Color Studio is at 63 Chantilly Drive, where she creates some “to die for” beautiful pieces. (Remember Christmas is just around the corner.) As she says, “My work is about texture and color and the intersection of fibers that shrink and those that do not—such as wool and silk.” She creates a wide variety of scarves and shawls, using silk gauze, Mulberry silk, felt, and woven fibers in innovative ways, and recently started using her own color dyes. The scarves are all beautifully finished with delicate fine edges. She also has created some stunning artworks that are beaded and embroidered with striking round medallions in unusual shapes and colors, many of which are framed and ready to hang. Judy worked in corporate America for almost thirty years, then branched out on her own. She has had trunk shows, shown at the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands and thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Beaverdam Studio Tour. She would welcome visitors by appointment year round, just call (704) 560-1601. Her website is www.aboutcolor.net

As the artists on this tour are primarily represented in private galleries or open by appointment only, the Beaverdam Studio Tour this weekend is an opportunity to meet the artists, see their work, and perhaps purchase or commission a piece. You will undoubtedly be amazed at the quality of the work to be found just off Beaverdam Road. You will get a better understanding of what is involved in the production of the pieces these artists have created, and the person behind the art. Tour maps are available online and in their brochure—www. beaverdamstudiotour.com.

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