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story.lead_photo.caption Carolyn Brinkley makes purses from her home in Arkadelphia. She is among the newest artists on the Caddo River Arts Guild Round About Artists Studio Tour and will display her handcrafted purses and accessories during the event, set for Oct. 18-20. - Photo by Staci Vandagriff

— Continuing to promote arts and artists in the community, the Caddo River Art Guild will once again sponsor its annual Round About Artists Studio Tour. This year’s tour is scheduled for Oct. 18-20.

“We will have 24 artists on the tour, which is an increase,” said Farrell Ford, guild president and a tour participant with her paintings, fiber art and art glass. “Some of those are new to the tour. Plus, we are including artisan crafters this year, which marks our 13th year to sponsor this event.”

The self-guided driving tour will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19 and from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 20 at various locations in and around Arkadelphia.

“Held on the third weekend each October, the tour of Arkadelphia area artists’ studios gives visitors the opportunity to see the artists’ working spaces and tools, their creations in progress and completed art pieces,” said Rita Earles, guild treasurer.

“Some of the artists have grouped together, making it possible for visitors to travel the estimated 30-mile loop to all 10 locations in one day,” she said. “Quilting, woodworking, ceramics, embossing, fused glass, basket weaving, jewelry collage, handcrafted bags and more will be shown, as well as the traditional painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, print-making, fiber art and encaustics.

“Items will be for sale, making holiday shopping a joy as visitors pick from these one-of-a-kind treasures,” said Earles, who is an oil-painting artist on the tour.

Carolyn Brinkley is a new artist to the tour this year, showing her handcrafted bags and accessories.

“I make purses,” she said, laughing. “I am so excited to have been invited to be on this tour.

“We moved here about two years ago, when my husband Jimmy took the [Arkadelphia] city manager’s job,” she said, adding that both she and Jimmy are native Texans.

“I was a teacher for 30 years, but I retired when we moved here. I am loving every minute of it. I love Arkadelphia. I didn’t know how to sew until about a year and a half ago,” she said, laughing. “All I knew about a sewing machine was that you pushed the pedal to make it go. I didn’t know anything.

“After I retired, we found ourselves with four guinea pigs. I am a big animal lover. I am the type person that I give 110 percent interest into whatever I am doing. I became interested in the liners we needed for the cages for these guinea pigs.”

Brinkley said she researched how to make the liners.

“That was my first taste of sewing. I thought, ‘This is really fun.’ So I did that for a while. Then I tried quilting but decided that was not for me,” Brinkley said. “So I tried making home decor items. Then I saw some cute patterns for purses and decided I would try that. I still have the first one I made. I look at it now and think, ‘Did you really take that out in public?’

“But I have progressed,” she said. “I made a purse for my daughter, and it was a hit.”

Since then, Brinkley said, she has continued to learn, even watching YouTube videos to help her.

“I happened to take some of my purses down to the Arkadelphia Arts Center when they are open on Thursday for people to work on their art projects, and they were very encouraging,” she said. “Farrell and others told me I ought to be on their art tour, that I had something new and different, so I agreed.”

Brinkley said her other hobbies include fostering dogs.

She is trying to organize a crafters club in Clark County. More information can be found on Facebook: Clark County Crafters Club.

Other area artists scheduled to participate in the tour include the following:

• Shawn Armstrong, with mixed-media arts and crafts.

• George Baker, woodcarving.

• Sam Blackmon, painting and woodcarving.

• Jerry Burrow, enameling, fused art glass jewelry, encaustic and oil painting.

• Nic Chamberlain, equine watercolor.

• The Clark County Quilters’ Guild, featuring several members with quilted items.

• James “Doc” Ford, basket weaving.

• Evelyn Good, painting, fiber art and jewelry.

• Rosie Huddleston, basket weaving.

• Wanda Huneycutt, oil painting.

• James Langley, painting, printmaking and drawing.

• Paul Mann, woodworking with mixed materials.

• Sarah Morrow, painting and jewelry.

• Deborah Tackett, ceramics, photography and painting.

• John Tackett, watercolor and gourd sculpture.

• Michael Uhl, painting.

• Regina Weiner, basket weaving.

• Johnny Whatley, oil painting and drawing.

A free guidebook with a map to the studio locations may be picked up during the event at one of two locations — the Arkadelphia Arts Center, 625 Main St., or the Diamond Lakes Regional Visitor’s Center, 124 Valley Road (Arkansas 7) in Caddo Valley.

For more information on the artists and sponsors of the Round About Arts Tour and other activities of the nonprofit Caddo River Arts Guild, visit caddoriverartguild.com or call (870) 245-7982.

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