Green Acres Farm and Old Mill Creek Smithy: Stop #17 on 2016 Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County

New on the tour this year is Green Acres Farm and Old Mill Creek Smithy. With a drive across a shallow spot in Mill Creek, getting there is half the fun!

Picture of Mill Creek

Green Acres Farm: Getting there is half the fun.

Gary and Nancy Kelley and their two sons, Jonathan and Christopher had grown weary of suburban living and were longing for the country, so in 2012 they moved from Nashville to this 28-acre slice of rural paradise on Mill Creek. To the Kelleys their farm is more a source of play than a source of income. Gary still has a day job in Nashville, and Nancy and their high-school-aged boys spend their days homeschooling. In their spare time they all enjoy learning how to farm and are taking on new projects little by little. They will enjoy sharing their successes, and failures, with anyone who’d like to stop by and chat for a while on Friday.

 

Homemade Maple Syrup has been one of their family farm projects.

Homemade Maple Syrup has been one of their family farm projects.

One of their success stories is having learned to make maple syrup from the trees on their farm. Gary did the research, built an outdoor cooking station, and enlisted his sons’ help with tapping trees, bringing in the sap, and boiling it down to a finished product of golden goodness. They were pleased and proud three years ago when the first batch turned out just as they’d hoped, and they’ve cooked up a supply of the sweet stuff every year since. It has turned out to be a great winter project for the men of the house. Gary will enjoy sharing with you the nuances he’s learned for how to make great maple syrup. If you’re a seasoned syrup-maker, he’ll welcome the opportunity to learn a new tip or two himself.

The Kelleys have also had success with keeping their 40-plus blueberry bushes thriving, supporting the free-range lifestyle of a dozen or so chickens (who in turn support them with fresh eggs), and raising their two head of cattle, affectionately named Victor and Briscoe Darlin’.

 

Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing Demonstrations will be given on the hour during the tour on Friday.

The most recent addition to Green Acres farm is the handsome side-draft forge fifteen -year-old Christopher has built. Chris has named his forge “Old Mill Creek Smithy,” and he enjoys crafting an array of hand-forged items there. “If I do say so myself,” Nancy says, “he’s quite good at it and has the touch of an artisan.”  He will offer blacksmithing demonstrations every hour on the hour and will be selling his hand-forged items. After the tour Chris’ wares will be available at Centerville Marketplace in downtown Centerville.

Seventeen-year-old Jonathan enjoys leather craft and also has an artist’s touch.  He will be happy to show you some of the techniques he has learned for turning a piece of leather into something elegant and useful.

Next door is Gary’s mother, tenderly known as “Granny.”  She joined the Kelleys on the farm three years ago, and they say she is a treasure to have close.  She will be displaying her large collection of quilts, and she looks forward to your stopping by for a visit. The quilts were handmade by her mother, Lucille, who was born in 1915 and lived to be 100 years old.

Also at Green Acres on Friday will be Shalom Farms selling their homemade teas, precious handmade dolls, and other items. Terry Day of GiGi’s Rag Rugs will be there, too, selling her one-of-a-kind rugs and demonstrating how she makes them.
At the end of the tour on Friday, you are invited to join the Kelleys for some casual, family-style praise music, produced by their own sons and young friends, down at the circa 1899 cabin by the creek. They’ll share some worship songs you may know as well as some originals they’ve written. Bring a blanket and join them on the lawn for an hour or so of music starting at 6:00 p.m.

 

Country life is suiting the Kelleys just fine.  Gary’s city job is one in which he spends all day at a computer “aligning ones and zeroes,” as he puts it.  He relishes the opportunity back on the farm to get his hands on some dirt and do something tangibly meaningful.  There’s a similar draw there for the rest of the family. They all say they love Hickman county.  They love the dirt roads, having to drive through creeks to get where they’re going, smelling the honeysuckle along the way, seeing a hand go up to wave as they pass.  Life, they say, truly is better in the country.

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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

2016 Arts and Ag Tour Guide

The 2016 Arts & Ag Tour Guide and Map is now available for pickup or download.  Explore the beautiful back roads of Hickman County on this free, two day, self-guided tour of farms, art and music. Many favorite stops from previous years will be returning, as well as some new stops and new vendors to meet. Printed guides are now available at the Hickman County Chamber of Commerce on the Centerville Town Square and at each stop on the day of the tour.  In the meantime, you can download a full version of the tour guide here.

 

Early Bird Deadline March 15

Farmers and artist who want to participate in the 5th Annual Arts & Ag tour can get a jump on the application and save a little money by having your 2016 application postmarked by March 15.

Download and print: 2016 Application

 

Ducks

The ducks at Sugar Camp Farm are lining up to be a part of the 2016 tour.

CALL TO ARTISTS, MUSICIANS & FARMERS

The Fifth Annual Arts & Ag Tour is coming up May 27th and 28th!

If you are interested in participating as an artist, crafter, musician, or as a farm on this back roads tour through Hickman County, please contact us at 931-628-0215 or email us at artsandagtour@gmail.com. More info and applications available to download and print from the link below. 

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity! Participate on Friday or Saturday or both days. Stay tuned on Facebook, too!

Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairy2016_ArtsandAg_APPLICATION

 

 

 

 

2015 Arts & Ag Tour Guide

The 2015 Arts & Ag Tour is going to be better than ever! Many favorite stops from previous years will be returning again. There will also be some new stops and new vendors to meet. Printed guides will be available by May 12th, at Wild Duck Soup Emporium on the Centerville Town Square. Until then you can view the entire 2015 Arts & Ag Tour Guide here. 2015 Map Book Cover

Call to Farmers, Artisans and Musicians for the 2015 Hickman County Arts & Ag Tour

With Spring just around the corner, Arts & Ag is gearing up for the Fourth Annual Arts & Ag Tour of Hickman County which will be Memorial Day Weekend Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23, 2015. We are now accepting applications for farms, artisans, and musicians who would like to showcase their talents and their wares on the 2015 Arts & Ag Tour Map. Community Centers and local non-profit organizations are also welcome. Applications are attached here but they can also be picked up at Wild Duck Soup Emporium, 105 S. Public Square, Centerville, TN  37033 (931 729 0690) or downloaded here.

Applications must be submitted to Antonia Meadors at Wild Duck Soup Emporium along with the entry fee of $35 cash on or before March 15, 2014. From March 16th until April 15th, the fee is $45. Receipts will be provided.NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER APRIL 15th.. The fee is waived for non-profits who submit their application in by March 15th, and for musicians who are willing to perform at a site – a display to promote yourself and sell your cds is encouraged. Space on the map is limited and there is a selection process so please submit your completed application as soon as you can.