Bedford Artisan Trail Open Door Tour

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Bedford Artisan Trail Open Door Tour

Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 20

An Entire Week plus Two Full Weekends of Special Festivities!

Be captivated by Bedford and discover yourself on an authentic Artisan Trail adventure. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains with the iconic Peaks of Otter as a majestic backdrop, Bedford’s arts and cultural entities are abundant in this tight knit creative community.

The ACV Artisan Trail Network invites you to experience the underlying passion of an artisan’s skilled and imaginative life’s work… the enduring spirit of agri-artisans and their devotion to the land… and… innovative, community infused collaborations and events instilling a sense of perennial kinship.

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“If you expect to be surprised, inspired and dazzled by the sites you will visit on an Artisans Center of Virginia Artisan Trail adventure be prepared, because you will experience it all. The artists and farmers dedication and passion will be clearly evident in every step of the trip.  You will want to keep seeing more and will find yourself planning the next agenda.   I often judge things by the thought  of, “would I want to experience this again” and that day on the Artisan Trail gets a giant Yes!!!!!“
-Estelle Avner, Roanoke, VA

Visit the Bedford Artisan Trail… and go home….Inspired, surprised, grounded, happy, thoughtful, passionate, relaxed, excited, reconnected, and ready for more!

“The brochure about the Bedford Artisan Trail which we visited, was so perfectly descriptive that it was instantly apparent how broad based the available artisan’s talents are… unique choices for each of us! The availability of the very different farms was terrific… they balanced the artist’s studios and galleries brilliantly.” -enthusiastic visitor and avid art lover, Roanoke, VA

Pick up your brochure with its numbered map guide at the Bedford Welcome Center with the numbered map guide and start your tour viewing the Bedford Artisan Trail Invitational Exhibit. Due to renovations Bower Center is not currently open for exhibits therefore the component of this exhibit is displayed Bedford Welcome Center. A collaboration of the Bowers Center for the Arts, The Electric Company Artists’ Co-op and Goose Creek Studio Gallery, the exhibit will be up Sept 1 thru Oct 3: 9-5.

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Then as you head out on your Open Door Tour adventure keep any eye out for the bright yellow banners hanging outside each participating trail site, welcoming you to stop in.

For specific activity details on the Open Door Tour you may CLICK HERE to download the Open Door Tour flyer.  For more information on these and other artisan trail site in Bedford, visit the website at

There are 21 participating sites on the Bedford Artisan Trail Open Door Tour (ODT), including artisan studios, artist and gardening demonstrations, wine tastings, locally grown foods and produce, tips and information on herbs and bees, farm tours, music, exhibits and so much more! Let your spirit and interests determine the path you take and the dates you attend – there are different events and demonstrations daily – so choose your path based on your personal interest. Here is a sample of what you will find, but we encourage you to create your own plan generated by your personal passion. Here are some of the items planed for your ODT adventure: Map #69, 2nd Friday in Centertown Sept 11 from 5 – 8 pm – A Night Out with Bedford’s Best! Featuring art openings, fine dining, specialty shops, and live music throughout historic Centertown Bedford. While the Bower Center is not currently open for exhibits, Map #30, Bower Center for the Arts has a Special Opening Reception for the Bedford Artisan Trail Invitational Exhibit at The Electric Company Artists’ Co-op and Goose Creek Studio Gallery, Map #28 & #29. Goose Creek Studio Gallery and Custom Framing will also host the Sept 11, 2nd Friday Centertown Opening Reception for the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge exhibition “Elements: Color and Texture,” and on Sept 19, from 11-2 pm, in the Old Jail Hill Art Space Open House, visit the artists in their studios on the 2nd floor and enjoy new work and demonstrations. Map #29

Sept 13, from 4-8, a special and unique event will be held. Bedford’s Finest Fare, featuring local chefs and Bedford County producers and growers in the farm to table event of the year! Live music and local beverages and refreshments will be featured in the Wharton Gardens, 305 N. Bridge Street. Cost: $30 in advance $35 at door $15 12 and under. Map #30

More flavor filled offerings can be found at the Forest Farmers Market (Map #38) on Saturday, Sept 12 from 8-noon. Music & special ODT demonstrations including herb lectures, pottery, glass jewelry lampart, bead jewelry demonstrations, silk scarf painting, wood carving, loom weaving, bee observations, and of course fresh produce. During the week on Tuesday, Sept 15, Bedford Farmers Market at the YMCA from 3-6:30 pm, will feature area farmers in a special ODT event discussing sustainable farm practices. Join the conversation and pick up some tempting produce while you are there.

Another local produce opportunity can be found at the Bedford Farmers Market at the Centertown Pavilion on Friday, Sept 18 from 8-1. You can continue the conversation on sustainable farm practices with area farmers at this Friday Main Street Farmers Market. Enjoy Virginia grown fruits and vegetables, handmade soaps, local eggs, jams and jellies, local crafts, raw local honey and much much more! Map

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Certainly one of the real highlights of the Open Door Tour is the opportunity to see so many artists and artisans demonstrating their skills and techniques. At the Decoy Room (Map #27), on Sept 11 & 18 from 10-7; Sept 17, noon-5 and Sept 19, 10-2, they will be featuring demonstrations of wood feathering and painting as well as showcasing a wide variety of decoy and wildfowl art and artists of the finest craftsmanship. At The Electric Company on Sept 17, 5-8 there will be a special reception and unveiling of “A Shallow Crossing,” 6’x10’ Oil Painting by Rod Adams. Featured demonstrations in painting, polymer clay, mosaic, pastel, stained glass, bookbinding, watercolor, expressive line, and haiku will be held at various times throughout the week. Music & refreshments will be available. See the Calendar of Events for more info at artisanscenterofvirginia,org. Map #28

Daily, all week during the tour, stained glass artisan, Shelly LaTreill of SER Art Stained Glass, will be doing stained glass demonstrations (Map #17) and blacksmith artisan, L. T. Skinnell of Otter Hill Forge, will be in his studio Sept. 14-17 from 8-5 working and demonstrating his forged ornamental ironwork. Map #14. Artisan Sonya Forte of Studio 43 Pottery, will also be demonstrating all week long the “art” of hand built pottery. Map #20

Hungry? Sept 11-12 and 14-19, Fisher’s Restaurant offers “hometown feel and homemade meals” with daily specials. Also participating in Bedford’s Finest Fare on Sept 13, Fisher’s Restaurant has a new location, 503 4th St. in Bedford. Another great dining opportunity is Town Kitchen & Provisions (Map 59). Featuring photography by John Wilcher, they will be open Sept 11 & 15-18, 10-7; Sept 12 & 19, 10-3; and Sept 13 & 20, noon-3. Map #59

One of the more unique experiences being offered on the Open Door Tour is the very moving Naturalization Ceremony with the Blue Ridge Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution as we welcome 30 new citizens in honor of Constitution Day at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest on Sept 17 from 11-2. They will also offer a special Open Door Tour Stargazing Event on Sept 19 from 8-10pm, with Dr. Neal Sumerlin, former director of the Belk Astronomical Observatory at the Claytor Nature Study Center at Lynchburg College. There is a $10 fee for ages 12+, under 12 free. Map #84

At the Diamond Hill General Store & Garden Center, Map #56, on Sept 12 from 1-9 there will be an Open House showcasing artists and authors, a wine and beer tasting, a horticulturist will be on hand, face painting, and live music, all from 6:30-9. Map #56. And, at The Well from 10-5 it will be Local Product Tasting Day featuring several of their vendors including Red Rooster Coffee, Tanker Tots, Ritebars, Falling Creek Farm and Dahlia Farm. Taste locally grown or made foods, have a chair massage, enjoy live entertainment and take advantage of their monthly Second Saturday Sale. Map #85

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After all this – perhaps you’d enjoy some time in the fresh air? How about a visit to Mountain Run Farm (Map 46)? The Farm Store will be open on Sept 12 & 19 from 10-2 featuring  pasture raised pork and beef, homemade soaps, local honey, and artisan crafts, Map #46. Or maybe you’d like a trip onto the mountains at the Peaks of Otter Lodge & Restaurant, for a ribbon cutting and birthday celebration featuring children’s activities, nature exhibit, music, artist demonstration and birthday cake – all available on Sept 12, 11:30-3:30. Map #82 At the end of the day, maybe a little wine? How about Hickory Hill Vineyards, Sept 11-12 and 16-19 from noon to 6, featuring a special Chardonnay Harvest activity. You’ll see how they turn sun-ripened grapes into Chardonnay wine. Taste the white grape, ripe and sweet off the vine, and then taste the award winning wines, just $5 per person. Map #41. Or, how about An Apple a Day Open House at Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards? Sept 11-13, from noon-5, you can sample their many varieties of apples and taste ‘Fruit of the Farm’ wine with special ODT Barn Quilt demonstrations and exhibition. Map #48.