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Bringing home a little of the Ozarks

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By Wayne Lazarus on September 7th, 2010

Categories: Linda's Travel Articles

One of the reasons driving vacations are so popular is that you can get the genuine flavor of a place through its food, architecture and landscapes. The art of a particular region is another way to experience a location — one that can be brought home as a visual and tactile souvenir.dahl14

What could be better then, than a self-guided driving tour of artists’ studios in a part of the Ozarks? The Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour, held every year in the area around Mountain View celebrates its ninth tour September 17 – 19, 2010. Some 40 artisans and craftspeople are included this year.

Sponsors of the tour have put together a 36-page guide with directions, information about the artists and the work of each. The guide can be viewed online or picked up at many of the chambers of commerce in the towns in Stone and Izard counties, some 100 miles north of Little Rock.

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Mountain View, known as the Folk Music Capital of the World, has long worked to preserve the artistic and musical heritage of the Ozarks. It is home to the Ozark Folk Center State Park where the Arkansas Folk Festival is held in the spring every year. The Off the Beaten Path tour includes painting, stained glass, pottery, basketry and weaving, fiber arts, woodworking, jewelry, leather and metal work. Artists included must be located within 30 miles of Mountain View and approved by a jury of their peers.

If you can’t make it that weekend, the University of Arkansas in Batesville is sponsoring a preview through September 14. Work by many of the artists in the tour is on display in the Roy Row, Sr., and Imogene Row Johns Library and Academic Building from 8-8 Monday through Thursday and 8 to noon on Firday. A closing reception will b eheld at 5 on September 14 and many of the artists will be present. The public is welcome.

Photo of Becki Dahlstedt’s pottery and Owen Rein’s rocking chair used with permission.

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