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Every Triangle county has its own flavor, and Chatham is distinct for its mix of rural and renegade culture. The rolling landscape, the slow, muddy Haw and the region's proximity to city life make it a haven for artists. Potters, painters, sculptors and woodcarvers cluster on country avenues like Chicken Bridge Road and Rock Rest Road, and on Dec. 2 and 3, they will open their workplaces to the public for the Chatham County Open Studio Tour 2000. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, you'll get a chance to see the work of 54 artists from this unusually creative community. (Sculpture by Mike Roig pictured.) The best place to start is the Studio Tour gallery at Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro campus, where volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and you can pick up a handy little map with numbered studio sites. For more information, go to or call the Chatham County Arts Council at 542-0394.

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