Brown County artists to open studios, gardens for tour

The 10th annual Brown County Studio and Garden Tour next weekend will showcase the arts and crafts of the historic Midwest artists' colony in south central Indiana.

Twenty studios and 35 artisans will open their studios and gardens. A detailed map will help visitors find their way through the Brown County hills, and signs and flags will direct them to each studio.

Artists will demonstrate their crafts and teach and talk with visitors, offering guests a glimpse of how they live and work. Some plan interactive or creative activities.

Artists began to visit Brown County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to paint its hills, streams, log cabins and other structures. The first artists who arrived, such as Adolph and Ada Shulz, Theodore Clement Steele and Louis Oscar Griffith, usually stayed for the summer and early fall.

Steele and his wife, Selma, were among the first to make Brown County their home. After T.C. Steele's death in 1926, his wife donated their home and studio in Belmont to the state of Indiana. It is now operated as a historic site and is headquarters for the tour.

In 1917, Adolph and Ada Shulz made Nashville their permanent home, which helped to further its establishment as an artists' colony. In 1926, eight artists formed the Brown County Art Gallery Association, putting their first gallery in a remodeled store building in Nashville.

While Brown County and Nashville are primarily tourist destinations today, many artists there have started to promote Brown County as "The Art Colony of the Midwest."

As part of the 10th anniversary celebration, a free reception for the artists on the tour will get under way at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Brown County Visitors Center on the northwest corner of Main and Van Buren streets in Nashville. Visitors who attend will meet artists and see examples of their work and may choose to visit any or all of the studios during the rest of the weekend.

The headquarters for the tour will be the T.C. Steele State Historic Site. The noted Hoosier artist's studio is at 4220 T.C. Steele Road in Belmont, 9 miles west of Nashville and 10 miles east of Bloomington. For information on the Steele site, call 812-988-2785.

The self-guided tour is free and will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday. Brown County is located between Bloomington and Columbus. For information, contact the Brown County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-276-9995 The tour Web site, www.browncountystudiotour.com, has maps and detailed information about participating artists, as well as images of their work.

Tour brochures and maps also are available at all Bloomingfoods locations in Bloomington, Brown County Winery, Cornerstone Inn, Farmhouse Cafe and Flower and Herb Barn, Story Inn, The Brown County Visitors Center and many businesses in Brown County.

The artists on the tour are: Dick and Dixie Ferrer, painters and mixed media artists; Shelley Frederick, painting and ceramics; Chris Gustin, weaving; Joan Haab, woven garments; Joe Henderson, wood, and Peggy Henderson, baskets and jewelry; Anabel Hopkins, painting; Dean Howard, forged metal; and Lynn Lynch Hughes, pen and ink drawings.

Also appearing are Sharon Jungclaus-Gould, gourds and mixed media; Amanda W. Mathis, paintings; Anne Ryan Miller, stained glass; Sarah Noggle, weaving; Cheri Platter, ceramics and jewelry; Michele Heather Pollock, mixed media; Judy and Tom Prichard, pottery; Greg Schatz, pottery; Larry Spears, pottery; and Kyle Spears, photography.

In addition, Sandy Taylor, stained glass and photography; R. Thomas Tedrowe, wood furniture, and Mindy Weddle, ceramics and photography will appear.

Guest artists appearing at these studios include Barb Brooke Davis, Marla Dawson, Linda Comstock-Teel, Brad Cox, Daniel and Ruth Johnson, Terri Schultz, Susan Ahbe, Monique Cagle, Fred Rigley and Pat Siddiq.

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