Malarie McConaha and Tim Hunter: Stop #10 on the Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County

Malarie McConaha

Malarie McConaha will be performing with Time Hunter at Duck River Rose Farm both days of the tour.

When Malarie McConaha moved to Nashville in 2014 to launch her career as a singer and songwriter, she began hitting the local music scenes around the city most evenings while during the day, working at a Broadway boot store to pay the bills. That story is a familiar one for many music hopefuls, but for her, that part didn’t last long.

She had been hearing about a small town outside of Nashville, where many of her music icons live and play music in casual settings almost every day. A local open mic night seemed like a simple stop, but it would be the first of many that would change her life.

She quickly met friends and became close with many of the famous and not-so-famous talented locals who have become mentors, sponsors, dear friends, and fans.

“At first, I was a little star-struck, but that wears off pretty fast when you realize that they are normal people living normal lives,” says McConaha. “Being surrounded by great talent inspires your own growth as an artist.”

But don’t let her humility fool you. There’s a reason why the music veterans like working with her. She has a style that blends hints of Janice Joplin and Bonnie Raitt with undertones of Linda Ronstadt. But her style is all her own as she tells stories of conviction, love, mystery, and adventure in her original, unique music. She underscores her soulful voice and story telling ability with raw acoustic and electric guitar.

Her talents extend beyond music. After suffering a broken wrist one afternoon after playing a show, she developed a love of making jewelry, which she sells at every show. Her jewelry is also sold in shops across the nation under the name Copper and Clay.

McConaha will be joined by Tim Hunter to perform for two days at the Duck River Rose Farm on the 2016 Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County. They will play covers by Bonnie Raitt, Fleetwood Mac, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and Guy Clark, as well as originals including McConaha’s “Smooth Talker,” and Hunter’s “Til the Hurricanes Are Gone,” which is currently on hold for George Strait.

Craftyus: Stop #1 on Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County

Wood Burning by Craftyus

Wood Burning by Craftyus

Craftyus, longtime vendors at the annual Banana Pudding Festival, will be appearing for the first time on the Arts and Ag Tour at stop number 1 on the Public Square. Getting their start by combining a love of woodworking with an interest in polymer clay, Craftyus creates a variety of polymer clay figurines, wood crafts, and wood burnings. Seeing these end results is the most satisfying part of the process for Craftyus, that and the enjoyment their crafts bring to others.

 

 

 

Wood Games by Craftyus

Wood Games by Craftyus

At their booth during Arts and Ag, Craftyus will have a wide selection of their crafts available for purchase, including beautiful and unique bird houses, wood burned plaques, carpenter bee traps, polymer clay ornaments, charms, and figurines. Many of the materials Craftyus uses are either from the area or from the USA.

 

 

 

Polymer Figures by Craftyus

Polymer Figures by Craftyus

Outside of the Arts and Ag Tour, Craftyus’ works can be viewed and purchased during Autumn in the Country on October 1st on the Square in Centerville and Christmas Time’s a Coming  on November 19th at the East Hickman Elementary School in Lyles. They also sell their crafts from their home. More information can be found on their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/craftyuscrafts, or at their booth during Arts and Ag.

Tottys Bend Soap Farm: Stop #8 on the Arts & Ag Tour of Hickman County

Friendly Goat at Tottys Bend Soap Farm

Friendly Goat at Tottys Bend Soap Farm

Tottys Bend Soap Farm will be joining the the Arts and Ag Tour on Friday and Saturday, for the fifth year in a row, as stop number 8 on the tour map. There you can see firsthand how owners Nate and Vanessa Davis raise their goats and make a variety of skin care products from their goat milk. The Davis’ moved to Hickman County from Atlanta, GA in the summer of 2006. The couple was immediately drawn to the idea of raising dairy goats for milk and cheese. Soon they had a small, productive herd of registered Nubian goats. Neither Nate nor Vanessa had any experience with goats or farming of any kind. They relied on advice from experienced goat farmers and did much of their early learning through trial and error.

Tottys Bend Soap Bar

Tottys Bend Goat Milk Soap

In 2010, with a few years of goat farming under their belts, the couple decided to experiment with making goat milk soap. At first they gave their handmade soap to friends and family but soon they began selling their goat milk soaps at the Centerville Marketplace, a shop on the square in Historic Downtown Centerville, just a few miles from their farm. This was the perfect place for the Davis’ to try out different styles and scents of soap on local shoppers. Within the year, the Davis’ created what has become their signature goat milk soap, a four ounce rectangular bar embellished with a decorative Celtic pattern. It was in the fall of 2010 that Nate and Vanessa Davis founded Tottys Bend Soap Farm.

Totty's Bend Soaps

Goat Milk Soaps hand made by Nate and Vanessa.

The following year, Tottys Bend Soaps hit the shelves in several Tennessee Whole Foods stores. While the exposure at Whole Foods has been a blessing to the small company, the Davis’ agree their favorite venue is still Centerville Marketplace for its local charm and loyal customers. They also enjoy setting up a booth and selling their products directly to their customers during the Arts & Ag Tour. “There is nothing more rewarding than to talk to our customers in person. At the Arts & Ag Tour we can share our story and talk about our handmade goat milk soaps. People love to meet our goats, and learn about the nourishing benefits of goat milk, and the natural ingredients that go into our products,” says Nate. In addition to their goat milk soap bars, Tottys Bend Soap Farm also offers handmade goat milk lotions, shaving soaps, talc-free body powder and all natural lip balm. “We make over 25 different scents from recipes that are gentle on sensitive skin,” says Vanessa.

Goat Milking Demo at Tottys Bend Soap Farm

Goat Milking Demonstration

Goat expert Pam Hethcote from Possum Hollow Farm and owner of Star Brite Goat milk Soaps and Lotions will also be there with her handmade items. She and the Davis’ longtime friendship developed from their mutual love of raising dairy goats. “We goat people stick together!” says Hethcote. Brenda Estes, another fellow goat farmer, will also be onsite doing milking demonstrations. Early visitors are invited to milk one of Brenda’s dairy goats. Goat cheese and fresh goat milk samples will also be available to visitors of Tottys Bend Soap Farm during the Arts & Ag Tour.

JoAnne’s Creations will be set up with her beautiful handcrafted jewelry and fabric creations as well as homemade jams and sweets.

See www.TottysBendSoaps.com  or go to Tottys Bend Farm on Facebook for more information about Tottys Bend Soap Farm.

Baskets for Hearth and Home: Stop #12 on the Arts and Ag tour of Hickman County

 

baskets

Baskets for Hearth and Home

Baskets for Hearth and Home will be making their first appearance on the Arts and Ag Tour at the Grinder’s Switch Winery, stop number 12 on the tour map. Sherryl Sneed and Brenda Cashion, the founders of the group, were initially introduced to the art of basket weaving through a class at church, Brenda 14 years ago and Sherryl 4 years ago. Since becoming hooked on the craft of basket weaving, the two have committed themselves to the art of creating something that is both useful and decorative at the same time, while teaching others to do the same.

Baskets for Hearth and Home will have a large selection of handwoven baskets of various sizes available for sale at their booth. The baskets are made from a variety of materials, including rattan, white oak, honeysuckle, day lily leaves, and leather. In addition, the baskets are stained with a homemade water-based stain made from local walnut hulls. Aside from the wide assortment of baskets they will have for sale, Baskets for Hearth and Home will also be demonstrating basket weaving all day Saturday.

Stop by the booth for demonstrations.

Stop by the booth for demonstrations.

The baskets on display during Arts and Ag are also available at various other festivals throughout the year and at Baskets for Hearth and Home’s online store at basketsforhearthandhome.com. Their basket weaving classes are also available outside of the Arts and Ag Tour; Sherryl and Brenda teach a class each month at Cross Roads Cowboy Church in Bon Aqua and quarterly at Centerville United Methodist Church. Groups interested in basket weaving classes may also schedule a class at their location.

More information can be found on Baskets for Hearth and Home’s website or at their booth during the Arts and Ag Tour on Saturday.

JP Creatives: Stop #1 on Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County

One of a kind and custom designs by JP Creatives.

One of a kind and custom designs by jp.creatives

Jp.creatives will be displaying her unique and personalized creations at stop number 1–the Public Square in Centerville–on this year’s Arts and Ag Tour. Her second year on the tour, Janet Pierce, the artist behind jp.creatives, got her start working with puzzle pictures: first, putting a puzzle together and then gluing it to a surface to create a picture. Later, she made a frame for her granddaughter and, as she puts it, “the rest is history.” Even before her work with puzzle pictures, Janet Pierce has always had a love of the arts; as a child, she learned to play the piano from her mother, a pastime she enjoys to this day. Her artistic interests only expanded from there, first with crafting and later on, drawing.

In all of her many and varied pieces, jp.creatives strives for the challenge of creating something new. Each piece she makes is unique, no two exactly alike. At her booth during the Arts and Ag Tour, jp.creatives will have decorated frames, coasters, trinket boxes, ornaments – paper mâché stars & hearts and glass globes in different sizes – letters, wall hangings, crosses, and possibly some pieces of her father’s hand-carved, folk-lore style ornaments, pins, barrettes, and earrings.

One of a kind and custom designs by JP Creatives.

One of a kind and custom designs by jp.creatives

Outside of the Arts and Ag Tour, jp.creatives’ work can be viewed occasionally at the Farmer’s Market at Riverpark in Centerville, from June through the end of September;  at the Grinder’s Switch Music and Arts Festival on September 10th; at the Autumn in the Country Arts & Crafts Fair on October 1st, and at the Christmas Time’s a-Comin’ Arts and Crafts Fair on November 19th. Jp.creatives also has a regular booth at the Centerville Marketplace on the Public Square and takes custom orders throughout the year. Further information will be available at jp.creatives’ booth during the Arts and Ag Tour.

Kim Cary: Stop #1 on the Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County

Necklace

Necklace made by jeweler, Kim Cary

Kim Cary’s handcrafted jewelry will be making its debut appearance on the Public Square in Centerville–stop number 1 on the map–during this year’s Arts and Ag Tour. She first began her journey into silversmithing and bead weaving thirty years ago as a single mother to young children. Since then, she has further developed her craft, spending many hours beading ornate and intricate designs. She pays special attention to the design of each of her pieces, carefully selecting each color and incorporating natural stones in such a way as to compliment the person wearing it.

Kim Cary’s booth at Arts and Ag will feature hand-made jewelry in sterling silver and 24k gold, beaded jewelry using natural gems like rubies and emeralds, and rose petal beads that keep their scent. She will also have homemade peanut butter brittle for those who have a sweet craving while perusing.

Kim Cary’s workshop is at her home, and, in her own words, “people are welcome to come and see what I do; I personalize to people’s requests and generally love a good chat.” More information will be available at Kim Cary’s booth at the Centerville Courthouse during Arts and Ag.

Toyzini Gallery – Stop #15 on the 2016 Arts & Ag Tour of Hickman County

Painter, Toyzini, at work

Toyzini at work in his gallery in Lyles, TN

Toyzini Galleries features a wide array of artistic exhibits, ranging from work by outsider or self-taught artists to work by both local and national artists in a variety of mediums. The gallery is run by Hickman County native Randy Toy, also known as The Great Toyzini, a local outsider artist who has been an exhibit designer for Cheekwood Fine Arts Museum and Brooks Museum in Memphis and has been showing his own artwork as well as the work of others for over 40 years. He was involved with the first Arts and Ag, originally held in the basement of the Old Courthouse on the Historic Centerville Square, and has participated in the event, either as a vendor or a stop on the map for the past five years.

As one of the early participants in the Arts and Ag festival, Toyzini has witnessed the growth of the artistic and agricultural community surrounding the annual event. According to him, this growth is “only natural” given the amount of rural beauty and talent present in Hickman County. At Toyzini Galleries, the focus is on making connections between artists and vendors, and for many of the vendors showing at the gallery, Arts and Ag provides such an opportunity.

Toyzini Art Gallery, ArtsandAgTour2015, Hickman County, TN

Toyzini Art Gallery, Hickman County, TN

Toyzini Art Gallery, ArtsandAgTour2015, Hickman County, TN

Toyzini Art Gallery,  Hickman County, TN


This year, Toyzini Galleries will present the following artistic lineup:

  • Dr. Dale Sworts, a veterinarian known locally as the Medicine Man, will be displaying his paintings, many of which feature some of his patients.
  • Rose Littrell, a nationally recognized sculptor who has created works for both the Wild Horse Saloon and Opryland Theme Park, will have one of her works on-site for the festival.
  • Brenda Dawson, local author of Running for Home, will have her book available at the gallery.
  • Terri Tucker, an amazing self-taught artist, will show her photo-realistic sketches.
  • Guest artist, Rand Lane, a well-known artist, who makes the southern folk art circuits with his paintings.
  • Guest speaker, Joyce Day will be giving a talk on collecting outsider art at 5 p.m. on the 27th and 11 a.m. on the 28th; she will also bring some pieces from her collection, as well as her original drawings.
  • Emily Naff, photographer, will be introducing her new series titled “The New American Gothic,” a look at the modern organic farmer in Hickman County.
  • Lauly Arts, created by multi-talented artist Claudia Reis from Berlin, Germany, will return to Arts and Ag with jewelry, paintings, bags, and found-object art.
  • Denny Adcock, a woodworker and photographer will exhibit examples of both at the gallery.
  • Lois Lewis will display her unique and beautiful, hand-painted pottery.
  • Penny Stafford, a sculptor known for the textured surfaces of the pots she creates, will present a sampling of her work.
  • Ben Lankford, an outsider artist whose work has been exhibited all over the southern United States.
  • Clinton Toy, a woodworker and painter, will show handmade bird houses and carved fish along with his colorful two dimensional works.
  • Tatum Creek Crochet, made by Cofie Toy, will feature crocheted market bags, baskets, and dishcloths.
  • Antonia Meadors will exhibit her series of out-of-this-world lizard paintings.
  • Austin Toy, Hickman County’s premier rap artist will have his latest CD available for sale.
  • Wonderful festival food by Gloria McCord will be available from her cart on-site.

Toyzini Galleries is located at 5603 Hwy. 100, Lyles, TN 37098 and is stop number 15 on the Arts and Ag map. Further information on each of the above artists will be available at their respective booths during Arts and Ag.

Painting of lizards

Paintings by Antonia Meadors on display at Toyzini Gallery.

Denny Adcock at Toyzini Gallery, ArtsandAgTour2015, Hickman County, TN

Denny Adcock at Toyzini Gallery

New American Gothic Photo

New American Gothic: Lewis Acres

Painting by Toyzini

Sunny Side of the Street by Toyzini