There's an Artist's Studio tour going on for the next couple weekends in Wake Forest, east of Durham. Some studios are less than 20 miles from me. The tour's WWW site has details, including a PDF with artist locations and dates for September. Studios will be open the weekend of the 12th-13th, the 19th-20th, or both (some are only open one weekend). Times: from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. There are 20-30 artists involved in different media.
There's a central hub for the tour in the middle of the town of Wake Forest. They open one hour each day before the tour. You can get maps and refreshments there, and view samples of some work. Most of the artists' studios are within 7 miles of the hub. They suggest driving to the hub and planning out your trip.