The annual Visiting Artisan Series is back in 2009 at the Hardesty-Higgins House tourist info center on South Main Street. The Shenandoah Valley Spinners kicked off the series on January 3. Between now and February, don’t miss:
- Jan. 9-11: Greg Versen (photography). Widely beloved as “Professor Blues” on WMRA’s Blues Valley program, Versen will be exhibiting his talent in photography, showcasing photos of Shenandoah Valley scenes and notable architecture.
- Jan. 16-17: George Lange (woodworking). Come see a live demonstration of the ancient craft of woodworking. Lange specializes in practical woodcrafts such as spoons and ladles and designs creative, beautiful kitchen tools.
- Jan. 23-24: Mark Thomas (crafts of the past). Thomas’ skill ranges in the almost-lost arts of metalsmithing, wood carving and gunsmithing. Your attendance at this demonstration helps to keep these important pieces of American history alive.
- Jan. 23-24: David Ray Pine (furniture making). Sharing space with Mark Thomas is David Ray Pine. For many years prior to its current use as a tourist center and tea room, the Hardesty-Higgins House was home to the showroom of the Virginia Craftsman. Pine revisits those grand days with a demonstration of furniture making reminiscent of the Craftsman style.
- Jan. 30-Feb. 1: Polly Frye (photography). In 1951, at a time when women photographers were few and far between, Polly Frye and her husband took over the Dean-Kaylor Studio. Now at 85, Fyre makes her work available to the community. Revisit almost 60 years of Valley history through the photos of Polly Frye.
- Feb. 6-7: Mary Rouse (jewelry making). There’s no mistaking jewelry made by Mary Rouse Walters. Her distinctive designs are made from a variety of materials such as metal, clay, gemstones and enamel, resulting in fine silver jewelry and unique objets d’art. Visit while she creates and find out more about the process.
- Feb. 13-15: Jon Gehman (pen and ink drawings). Artist John Gehmen specializes in pen and ink drawings of old barns, race cars, weird bugs (real and imagined) and anything else that would appeal to your creative nature.
- Feb. 21-22: Heather Hansen (pottery). Heather Hansen of Pink Daisy Pottery seeks to create functional ceramic pieces that elevate and celebrate the rituals of everyday life.
- Feb. 28: Shenandoah Valley Textile Guild (fiber arts). Fiber arts, such as rug hooking, lacemaking and needle felting, are skills which abound in creativity. You’ll be impressed by the variety of items that can be produced using the medium of fiber – everything from clothing to ornaments. Skilled craftsperson Nancy Voas represents the Shenandoah Valley Textile Guild in highlighting these traditional artforms.
All events are free and open to the public and take place between 11am-3pm at 212 South Main Street. Free parking in the rear of the building. Visit www.harrisonburgtourism.com for directions and information.