The Laurel of Asheville

September 1, 2023

The Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) offers a variety of art events in September. On Thursday, September 21, from 4–7 p.m., the inaugural Art in the Park at Sorrells Park, in Canton, takes place in conjunction with the Mill Town Farmers Market. A selection of HCAC artist members will not only have their work on display but will also conduct live demonstrations during this family-friendly event.

“This is a great opportunity to exhibit my work in a new place with participants who might not visit my studio,” says Timothy Jacobs, who will show landscapes representing his personal vision of the mountains.

The Haywood Ramblers will lead a community jam from 4–5:30 p.m. Attendees are invited to bring their instruments and play along. At 5:30 p.m., NC-based bluegrass band Nu-Blu will perform.

The Haywood County Studio Tour takes place Saturday, September 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, September 24, from noon to 4 p.m. During the self-guided tour, hundreds of visitors are invited into working studios to meet the artists, view demonstrations and buy art. Thirty-eight artists in 20 studios will participate.

“I’m thrilled to join this tour and to introduce my work to like-minded residents who share a common love of art,” says first-time participant Jennifer Sharkey. Sharkey will offer mandalas and unique, colorful items including candle holders, keepsake boxes, journals, jewel-toned stones, anytime ornaments, wine stoppers and pendant necklaces. Her work can be found at Cold Mountain Art Collective, in Canton, alongside that of Hannah Burnisky and Mary Decker.

Another artist participating for the first time is Heidi Bleacher, who will offer a variety of needle-felted animals and plants and provide needle-felting demonstrations at Metzger’s Burl Wood Gallery in Waynesville. Potter Emily Reason, whose functional and decorative pieces are inspired by tomb artifacts of early ceramics, will show her work for the first time alongside that of her husband Michael Huston at their studio in Canton. Plein air, studio and mural artist Patricia Sweet will demonstrate at her new lakeside studio in Waynesville alongside mixed media artist Clay Sayre.

“We plan to make this an upbeat, informative and memorable experience for visitors,” says Sweet. “We will offer great deals on more than 100 studies and unframed works, and allow visitors to try their hand at creating art of their own.”

Many of the HCAC artists will donate artwork for a silent auction which will be set up in the Haywood Handmade Gallery at 86 North Main Street for the entire month of September. Visitors can place their bid, pick up a Studio Tour map and view artwork on exhibit.

Both Art in the Park and The Haywood County Studio Tour are free and open to the public. For more information, visit