‘A Bigger, Better Pie’

‘A Bigger, Better Pie’

South By Southeast offers art and a beautiful country drive


Courtesy Image
Susan Shore
Ozark Folkways
Shore’s lively, dangly beaded earrings are whimsical, kinetic, colorful and light-catching, and her necklaces combine vintage cast-off jewelry pieces. She also creates mixed-media assemblages using cigar boxes, vintage graphic art, photographs and bits of detritus.
“South by Southeast is a great way to showcase the wide-ranging talents of our broad community of artists under several larger and smaller roofs,” she says. “It will provide the opportunity to meet and discover artists new to you, while supporting old favorites, as you ramble the beautiful back roads in search of inspiration. I’m quite excited to be in the company of artists I so admire!”

Val Gonzalez is “a proponent of the idea that rather than each struggling for a perceived slice of pie, folks should come together to make a bigger, better pie.”

That’s the sentiment at the heart of the first South by Southeast Art Tour March 30 and 31, so named “because we are located south and southeast of Fayetteville and what folks think of as the ‘art corridor,’” Gonzalez says. There will be five stops on the “art drive,” three of them private studios, bookended by Terra Studios in Durham, “a wonderland of art dedicated to promoting heritage arts and to inspiring creativity in everyone who visits,” where Gonzalez is executive director, and Ozark Folkways in Winslow, “dedicated to the preservation, development, instruction and celebration of the art, craft and music of our region.”

“I had been wanting a reason to play with Ozarks Folkways for a long while,” Gonzalez says. “I see that the two venues, while very different, have many similarities. Both have been around for decades, and both have some fabulous artists who exhibit works at their locations, but neither has the draw we would like to have.”

Lisa Crews, the artist in residence at Terra Studios, is involved with a similar tour called Off the Beaten Path in northeastern Arkansas, and she suggested the idea to Gonzalez.

“Ozark Folkways and Terra Studios are out in the country, and sometimes folks think it’s SO far,” Crews says. “In fact, it’s no further than the drive between Fayetteville and Bentonville, which most of us take on a whim. So enjoying a beautiful country drive while on an art adventure seemed like a great idea. And working together has been fun and easy!”

Gonzalez says all in all, more than two dozen artists will be participating — 12 at Terra Studios and six (plus a native plant sale) at Ozark Folkways, along with four at BoggleWomp Studio, the private studio of artists John and Rita Ward; four at Buell Pottery; and Teresa Griffith demonstrating at Griffith Pottery Works, a teaching pottery studio.

“Ozark Folkways will have 10 demos in our Maker Spaces in addition to live music and food from Harvest Moon Pies,” adds Dan Dean, president of the Ozark Folkways Board. “And there will be prizes and a chance for a grand prize of art by a variety of the artists involved by visiting all the locations and dropping your stamped card at either Ozark Folkways or Terra Studios,” says Gonzalez.

“Terra Studios hopes this first event will unify the rural art community and bring a heightened awareness of what these venues offer,” concludes Gonzalez. “The Folkways Board is looking forward to an even bigger event next year and for years to come,” says Dean.


Courtesy Image
Teresa Griffith
​Griffith Pottery Works
A professional potter, art teacher and designer, Griffith has a B.A. in art education from the University of Arkansas as well as a Master’s in art education from Wichita (Kan.) State University. Her employment includes the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita Public Schools and West Fork School District. After more than 35 years in the field of art education, she retired to open Griffith Pottery Works in West Fork.
“Everyone should be given the opportunity to express their personal creativity through whatever art form they enjoy regardless of skill level or formal education,” she says. “I am honored to be able to share my love of teaching and love of pottery making with all my guests.”


South by Southeast

Art Tour

WHEN — 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 30; noon-4 p.m. March 31

WHERE — There are five stops on the tour, including Terra Studios and Ozark Folkways as the “bookends,” along with Buell Pottery in Winslow, BoggleWomp Studio in Durham and Griffith Pottery Works in West Fork

COST — Free; works will be for sale

INFO — terrastudios.com, ozarkfolkways.org

Categories: Cover Story