LANCASTER — From down on the farm to down on Main Street, arts meet agriculture with home-grown experiences for every member of the family at the Lancaster Ag+Art Tour, Saturday and Sunday.
Agritourism is becoming a popular form of destination travel because of its ability to provide a bridge between rural and urban dwellers. Visitors will not be disappointed with the combination of farm-rich and culturally-enriched sites to explore on a county-wide trek of highways and byways.
A partnership of Clemson Extension, Olde English District Tourism Commission, Lancaster Agribusiness Center, Lancaster County Council of the Arts, and See Lancaster, the Ag+Art Tour is a celebration of the agricultural and cultural riches that make Lancaster County unique. Official hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. Select sites will have exceptions and many have designated times for “not to be missed” activities.
Bob Doster’s Backstreet Studio, with its eclectic gallery and surprising private garden will have works by local and national artists and feature nature photographer/ALS advocate Angelo Sciulli and folk artist Arnette Majied. There also will be demonstrations in pottery making, blacksmithing and metal sculpting.
Chastain’s Studio Lofts features original art by local and regional artists: painting, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, wood turnings, and fiber arts, with painting and pottery demos both days.
Gallery 102 features local and regional works from folk to fine art and will have painting, lapidary and crochet demonstrations and will open Sunday at 9 a.m.
Mahaffee’s Pottery Studio will have students working on their projects, raku and pottery wheel demos.
Open on Saturday only, in the Elgin area, Bailey’s Pottery Studio features folk art pottery, while just across the road Elginwood Farms plans an “artisan market” with woodcraft, mixed media designs, photography, jewelry, floral design, pine straw baskets, handmade soaps, along with demonstrations.
The Lancaster County Council of the Arts’ galleries at the Springs House will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, with the Red Rose Photography exhibit and from 2-5 p.m., live music with food and beer pairings.
Other sites open on Saturday only are No. 9 Lumber & Crafts, with a working sawmill, features wood crafts and locally made crafts and products and Picture Perfect’s small gallery, which is large on talent with exhibits by local artists.
Downtown locations with historical significance that will open both days are the Lancaster County Welcome Center and Museum with a wide array of local artists’ works alongside museum exhibits that include wall drawings dating to the 1800s.
In the galleries of the Native American Studies Center is the world’s largest collection of Catawba pottery and demonstrations include dance, drumming, flute, weaving, and pottery.
Andrew Jackson State Park offers orchard, herb garden, schoolhouse, and museum tours with artisans and even hula hooping.
In Van Wyck, The Ivey Place will offer tours of its historical farm house and buildings, guest cottage, gardens and grounds. On Sunday, you can explore and celebrate the past at stops opening just for the day, such as the Cultural Arts Center at the Olde Lancaster Presbyterian Church with Quilt Guild exhibits and demos, cemetery tours and hammered dulcimer player.
Kilburnie, the Inn at Craig Farm and Historic Craig House, boasts beautiful gardens, historic homes and buildings, hiking trails, and impressive art collections. Wade-Beckham House will have artisans on hand with everything from jewelry to photography, including celebrity artist Paige Duke.
Another Sunday location open for tours is Coker Ranch, where purebred Black Angus cattle are raised.
Saturday, visitors can stop by the farm stands in Heath Springs and Lancaster, the Lancaster Agribusiness Center, Griff’s Greenhouse, the Lancaster County Farmers and Artisans Market, Lancaster Community Garden, and Provisions by Sandy Creek Herb Company for local produce.
Benford Brewery, the county’s only micro-brewery, invites visitors to see the brew process and sample the various brew recipes.
The tour is free on both days, but there is a small entrance fee for Andrew Jackson State Park. For more information call 803-289-1492 or visit AgandArtTourLC.com.