September 20, 2011
Bright yellow directional signs will briefly compete with yellow and red leaves when over 200 Vermont artists and craftspeople open their studios to the public during the first statewide Foliage Open Studio Weekend October 1 - 2. The yellow signs will mark the way to more than 140 studios and galleries open during this premiere event.
Foliage Open Studio Weekend is an expansion of the statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process that has been held during Memorial Day Weekend for many years. During the event, Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. One hundred-forty seven sites will be participating with a total of more than 200 artists involved in this first Foliage Open Studio Weekend. The fall event offers a special opportunity to meet a variety of artists and craftspeople in their studios, while enjoying the splendid foliage along the way.
The weekend features the work of glass blowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers. Many galleries will host gallery talks and feature special exhibits in conjunction with this event.
Martha Fitch, executive director of the Vermont Crafts Council, reports that both visitors to the event and participants have long asked for a second event. "Visitors have consistently regretted not being able to see all the studios in one weekend and have asked us to have a second event. Many have specifically asked for a foliage event because they see it as a natural fit. They expect to drive around the state to view foliage, and the studios give a structure and destination to the drive," said Fitch.
Within the arts community, opinion has varied. "We've had an even split between artists who've told us that the fall is too busy, and artists who feel that a foliage event would draw more visitors. We finally decided that we wouldn't know the answers until we tried it," Fitch said.
As for adding the event to a season crowded with other events, Fitch replied, "Open Studio is unusual in that you can plan to stop at a few studios on the way to a chicken pie supper or even a craft fair. You really don't have to choose to do one or the other." The added benefit for artists is increased sales or orders. Foliage Open Studio's proximity to the holidays means that it is a good time to be thinking of gifts for others or even yourself.
Can We Get There From Here?
At this writing, most roads are expected to be open to traffic and much of the state received no or minor damage. Motorists are advised to expect delays in areas where repair work is continuing on both state and town roads. For specific information about roads, go to www.vermontvacation.com.
The Vermont Crafts Council publishes a free map booklet with directions to participating sites. The Vermont Studio Tour Guide is available at Vermont Information Centers, from individual studios and galleries, and by request from the website www.vermontcrafts.com. Otherwise, keep a sharp eye out for the trademark, yellow, Open Studio signs, Fitch suggested.
The Vermont Crafts Council is a non-profit organization serving the Vermont visual arts community. Open Studio Weekend is supported by the farmers who own Cabot Creamery, The Point radio station, and the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.
Additional information about Open Studio Weekend can be found online at www.vermontcrafts.com/or by calling the Vermont Crafts Council at 802-223-3380.
Source: Department of Tourism and Marketing
Last Updated at: September 20, 2011 08:11:20