Craven County Arts Council backs studio tour in New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — The Craven County Arts Council is sponsoring a new artist movement in New Bern called the Neuse River Artists Studio Tour.

“We have one of the biggest concentrations of galleries in the region,” said Jonathan Burger, marketing and gallery director for Craven County Arts Council. “There are at least 12 artist studios or galleries in the downtown area alone.”

Residents know New Bern has a knack for art.

“(There are) lots of great opportunities for artists already, so anything to bring more people out to enjoy that and experience New Bern,” said George Oliver, New Bern resident. “It would be great for the town, great for the artist.”

More than 20 artists are registered for the tour.

“I was very excited because I think it’s something that will add a lot to the art scene here,” said Andrea Owens, owner of Red Shoe Studio Gallery. “It empowers the artist to sell their own work. And opposed to going through a business.”

May 5 and May 6 will be the days where anyone is welcome to bounce around to each studio on the map, looking at a large variety of work.

Chris Wagner of the Sanctuary Gallery started the idea and is excited to see it finally happen.

“We’re going to have maps involved (and) street signs set up in front of studios involved with it,” said Wagner. “We’re going to have souvenir cards, advertise on the radio.”

The studio tour not only gives artist a chance to display their artwork to the city but can also inspire future artists to pick up a paintbrush and canvas and get to work

“When you visit a working studio, you get inspiration,” said Wagner. “Whether you are an artist who is just up and coming, you can see what a professional artist is doing and be like, ‘I want to be that person’”

Artists who are just starting have the opportunity to partner with other studios for their artwork to be displayed.

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