Creative Spaces-Rural Places

Unique arts tour features
top artisans at work in their studios

Switzerland County Tourism
revamps its website with videos

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(April 2009) – Art lovers will get chance to tour more than 31 unique studios and talk to more than 40 artists during the second annual “Creative Spaces Rural Places Arts Tour.”

Jim Day

Photo provided

Jim Day of Talon Wildlife Creations
specializes in avian re-creations
and has his work included in natural
history museums, private collections, in
movies and retail establishments.

The arts trail, scheduled for April 25-26, runs through the towns of Rising Sun, Ind., and Vevay, Ind., and the rural areas of both Ohio and Switzerland counties. Many of the tour stops are sprinkled along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, which runs along the Ohio River. The tour is free.
Tourism offices in both counties joined together last year to create a unique tour of arts studios that allow the public to interact with artists during the actual creation process. During the tour, visitors will get a rare exposure to not only finished art products, but the entire process as well.
Artisans include sculptors, painters, weavers, potters, hand-crafted furniture makers, floral arrangers, woodworkers and fine jewelry crafters. Unique studios will allow visitors to experience art from one end of the spectrum to another.
“We are building on the success of last year’s inaugural tour,” said Sherry Timms, Ohio County-Rising Sun Tourism Director. “We followed the same idea and added some new features including new artisans.”

Switzerland County Website
The new Switzerland County website

Several of those new artisans are from Ohio County and include sculptor Mike Northcutt, traditional basket weaver Molly Beyer and watercolorist Shirley Smith.
“We believe it will be a fun day,” said Timms. “People seem to enjoy getting out in the country. Last year we got great responses from many of the visitors.”
She said because it was free, it was hard to keep track of exactly how many people went on the tour last year. However, this year tour organizers would certainly “love to have traffic jams.” “It’s just a really nice event for people to participate in,” said Timms.
In other tourism news, Switzerland County Tourism has redesigned its official website: www.vevayin.com.

Ann Farnsley

Photo provided

Artist Ann Farnsley talks with a
Kentucky youth about her artwork on
display in her Vevay, Ind. home.

“We’ve focused more on imagery and photos,” said Switzerland County Tourism’s Natasha Turner. “We have even added video footage of places of interest.” Visitors to the site can watch short videos of events, attractions, shops and even dining establishments.
“It is far more user friendly,” said Turner.
Currently included on the website is a link where visitors and residents can vote for Vevay as one of Budget Travel’s “Coolest Small Towns.”
Budget Travel received 152 nominations, and Vevay was chosen as one of the top 22 Coolest Small Town’s in America. Already, the town, with only 1,735 residents, has moved from its original spot on the list up to No. 6.
“Go vote,” encouraged Kendall Miller, who nominated Vevay for the list. She saw the competition and decided her town was “edgy” enough for it with its large artisan population and popular tourism events, such as the Swiss Wine Festival.
“Everybody who has commented has talked about how welcoming and positive Vevay is,” said Miller, the public relations coordinator for the county’s tourism office. “We’ve received a lot of attention over this from numerous Cincinnati media sources and talk radio in Indianapolis.”
The contest ends April 3.

• For more information about Creative Spaces-Rural Places Arts Tour, visit www.creativespacesruralplaces.com. For information about Ohio County Tourism, visit www.enjoyrisingsun.com. For more information about Switzerland County Tourism, visit www.vevayin.com.

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