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Artisan Tour

Switzerland County, Ind., artisans
take center stage during May 'tour'

Visitors get chance to visit studios,
take part in kickoff event

VEVAY, Ind. (May 2015) – Have you ever wondered what that painting looked like when it was just a sketch? Or tried to envision a sculpture from a lump of clay? If so, the Second Annual Artisans Tour of Switzerland County, Ind., is an opportunity that should not be missed when several area artists will be on hand to discuss their art and provide demonstrations.
Visitors to this event may hear a growl coming from East Main Street. This would be chainsaw artist Brian Christman, 47. The fascinating process of transforming a block of wood into an intricately detailed carving is a spectacle that should not be missed.
Christman says that he always enjoyed art but never felt he was all that good at the 2-dimensional art forms, such as painting and drawing. However, when he discovered chainsaw sculpture a little more than seven years ago, he felt inspired. He quickly took an unneeded bass amplifier to a pawn shop and traded it for a chainsaw.

Photo provided

Brian Christman carves a bear from
a tree using his chainsaw.

“I think 3-dimensional art is my niche,” he says. “I try to get better every year.”
Saying that a lot of his pieces are inspired by nature, Christman admits that almost anything can strike him as something that needs to be portrayed in a carving. Bears, birds and animals make up a large part of his inventory, but he also creates furniture items, tikis and signs. He adds that on occasion the shape of a raw wood piece will play a role in his plans for the finished product. Christman is, for the most part, self-taught. His studio is located at 303 E. Main St. in Vevay, and he will be present for the duration of the Artisans Tour.
The tour is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 2-3. However, early birds can attend the kickoff event from 6-9 p.m. Friday, May 1. Ann Farnsley, Information Specialist with Switzerland County Tourism, says this event will allow art lovers an opportunity to participate in a “Meet and Greet” with the artists at the Community Art Center, 217 Ferry St. Several participating artisans will be displaying and discussing samples of their artwork. Light refreshments will be served.
The Artisans Tour will lead participants from studios to galleries throughout the county on an artful adventure that will exhibit paintings, art glass, jewelry, sculpture, photography, recycled art and weavings.
“There will be something for everyone,” says Kendal Miller, Executive Director of Switzerland County Tourism. She says the tour provides an excellent opportunity for people to meet some very talented individuals who are excited to talk about their artistic process. “Switzerland County artists are an inspiration,” Miller says.

Photo provided

Above is a detailed
sample of Brian's work.

Farnsley, also an artist, will be opening her studio on the tour and is happy to invite the public in to view and discuss her paintings and ceramic items. Look for her on Market Street. A map of all participating locations will be available at the Switzerland County Visitors Center and throughout the tour.
Also running during the tour will be the “Eclipse of the Moon” quilt show at the Switzerland County Historical Museum. Based on a story documented at the Historical Society, this themed quilt exhibit will showcase at least ten quilts made by area artisans.
These events combined promise an entertaining weekend filled with opportunity to meet artists and see what happens behind the scenes.

• For more information, call 1-800-435-5688 or visit: www.SwitzCoTourism.com.

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