Corn and Blanton with local art historian Mike McCue.
Upstairs Artspace announces Collectors' Tour fundraiser

The Upstairs Artspace invites the public to take a peek at the art collections of a few of their friends and neighbors in its first "Collectors' Tour" fundraiser, which will be held on Sept. 7, 12, and 13.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night, visitors will stop by one of the three Tryon homes on the tour. The first evening will be hosted by Margaret Curtis and Harold Maass. The second will be held by James Blanton and Gary Corn at Mill Farm Inn, with help from author and art historian Michael McCue. The final tour will be hosted by Linda and Chris Tinkler. The hosts will offer a brief tour to highlight some of their favorite pieces. Guests will be encouraged to ask questions, or simply peruse the art and socialize over hors d'oeuvres and wine.

"We love sharing our passion for art with friends," says James Blanton, co-owner of Mill Farm Inn. "This will be a wonderful evening -- three wonderful evenings, in fact!"

Each home offers a very different art collection. The Curtis-Maass house has a mix of contemporary, including several Western North Carolina artists, and Haitian art; the Corn-Blanton house has, among other works, a wide range of Tryon artists, past and present; the Tinklers have an extensive collection of folk art, from the Foothills and elsewhere.

After leaving the homes, visitors will be invited to coffee and dessert at the Upstairs, where they will be able to look over works donated by friends of the gallery to be sold in the annual Silent and Live Art Auction fundraiser.

Tickets are $50 per couple for one night, $75 for two, or $100 for all three evenings; $25 single for one night, $38 for two, $50 for all three. They are available at the Upstairs, 49 S. Trade St., Tryon; at Tryon House;, La Bouteille wine and beer boutique; or from one of the hosts. The gallery will also open its doors on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 6, for a "Bids and Bellinis" reception (admission to that even is free, although donations are always welcome!) offering the public a chance to look over auction items, which will be displayed from Sept. 1 until Sept. 15, the night of the live auction.

For more information call the Upstairs at 859-2828. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.