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Carroll County’s annual Artists’ Studio Tour carrying on amid coronavirus case surge

Artists throughout Carroll County continue to draw on their skills and produce work despite challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic –– they’re even getting creative about how to exhibit their work.

The 14th annual Artists’ Studio Tour, a self-directed local art show, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, and Sunday, Dec. 6. The event remains free, but the map will look different than in previous years.

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“The list of studios participating is shorter than usual. In normal years we have 20 stops, but this year there are less than 10 stops,” said Thomas Sterner, vice president of the Carroll County Arts Council.

This year, all guests must wear masks, remain socially distant apart and refreshments will not be served.

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Visitors will be able to stop in and see studios spanning from Taneytown to Woodbine and view work spaces of painters, potters, metal workers, jewelers, textile artists and more.

According to Sterner, the art tour will remain an event where the public can enter the studios of craftsman and artists to learn more about their chosen art and shop locally for the holidays.

“One of the popular stops is metering the amount of people that come through, which is Shiloh Pottery, and they will be monitoring the volume of people that come through their space by using Eventbrite,” Stern said.

Ken Hankins and his wife, Marty, created Shiloh Pottery in 1972, and they have been contributors to Carroll County’s art scene ever since.

“We normally have hundreds of people that visit, but we are only allowing 10 people per hour this upcoming weekend,” Marty said. “I’m mostly worried about younger kids that want to visit and may have to be turned away.”

Ken and Marty work on their 40-acre farm and their animals will be out and visible –– just like their work –– as guests visit.

Marty said she and her husband had an outdoor showroom with open walls and shelves that was installed as a result of the pandemic, which greatly assists her business so that guests can view their inventory.

“We have mugs, tumblers, bowls, yard chickens and other pieces that people will be able to buy,” Marty said. “Lately, we’ve have been doing a lot of cookware pieces because people are at home and cooking more, and they’re pretty popular because customized to order.”

Marty said most people have already signed up through her Eventbrite link for spots on Saturday, but there are still quite a few spots open for Sunday. She added that if people are unable to attend this weekend, they will be able to visit by booking an appointment on the company’s site throughout month of December.

“Shiloh’s Pottery will be the only studio metering the volume of visitors, but we expect to have a total of anywhere from 75-250 guests visit all the stops on the tour this year,” Sterner said.

Stops on the tour

  • Doug’s Turnings, Taneytown, 410-259-6406.
  • Animal Faire, Taneytown, 803-645-3964
  • Thomas Sterner’s Art Factory, Westminster, 443-201-6126
  • Shiloh Pottery, Hampstead, 410-239-8888
  • Ashby’s Agates, Westminster, 410-549-7461
  • MudPi Studios, Woodbine, 410-491-8156

Additionally, the work of those artists unable to participate in this year’s tour can be seen at Off Track Art in Westminster and the Carroll Arts Center.

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