Artists open their studios to public this weekend

ADDISON COUNTY/BRANDON — Leaf peepers love Vermont in autumn, traveling the state to see the brilliant show of reds, oranges and yellows shimmering in the mountains and valleys. While looking for peak foliage, however, they also can take advantage of many special events during their stay, one of which is the Vermont Fall Open Studio Weekend.
Over Oct. 4 and 5, craftspeople and artists at sites in every region of Vermont will open their studios to the public. Iconic bright yellow Open Studio signs are posted along the roads to guide visitors to the studios. Visitors are offered a behind-the-scenes look at the workspaces of glassblowers, weavers, sculptors, potters, woodworkers, printmakers, jewelers, furniture makers, painters, quilters, and other makers.
The Vermont Crafts Council, which organizes the event, publishes a free map booklet available at Vermont welcome centers, galleries, and community centers that gives people an easy way to plan an individualized tour route. Each studio is numbered with the location shown on the Open Studio map/guide. Directions, addresses and contact information are also listed.
There are two regional information centers in our area — Art on Main at 25 Main St. in Bristol and the Brandon Artists Guild at 7 Center St. in Brandon. These are places to give studio explorers an overview of this particular part of Vermont. A map can be requested on the Vermont Crafts Council website (www.vermontcrafts.com), where an online version is available as well. Maps can also be obtained by calling (802) 223-3380 or emailing [email protected].
Once you have your Open Studio map, it is easy to plan a studio tour: Choose a section of Addison County that you want to explore and find studios along the way. Or maybe your destination is a classic Vermont village and you want to look for studios nearby. If you are fascinated by a specific medium like pottery or woodturning or photography, you can create a tour of just those studios. Or maybe you like spontaneity and prefer to just follow the yellow signs along the roads that direct people to studio locations.
People have the flexibility to spend as much time as they want, whether on an interesting activity for a few hours or two full days of exploration.
Vermont Open Studio Weekend is a statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process in which Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. Open Studio Weekend is also a featured event during American Craft Week, a nationwide celebration of American craft over 10 days in early October.
In Addison County, visit these artists’ spaces: Kit Clark Furniture, custom studio furniture, beds, tables and chairs, 997 Four Winds Road, North Ferrisburgh; Creative Space Gallery, fine art, photographs, furniture and pottery, 229 Main St., Vergennes; Dale Helms Fine Furniture, custom contemporary furniture, 2886 Mountain Road, Bristol; Robert Compton Pottery, hand-thrown functional and decorative pottery, 2662 N. Route 116, Bristol; ARTSight Studios and Gallery, paintings, mixed media, monotypes and jewelry, 6 South St., Bristol; and Vermont Hardwood Sculpture – J.H. Clarke, burls, hard maple, black cherry and butternut, 731 Gore Road, Starksboro.
And also, John Filan Woodworking and Photography, unique wooden serving boards and photography, 291 Sheep Farm Road, Weybridge; Trillium Art & Beyond – Yinglei Zhang, traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy, landscape, birds and flowers, 56 High St., Middlebury; Danforth Pewter Workshop and Store, watch pewter being made, 52 Seymour St., Middlebury; Phoebe Stone, paintings, children’s books, pastels and illustrations, 52 N. Pleasant St., Middlebury; Norma Jean Rollet, pastels, oils, puzzles and paintings, 185 Cottage Lane, Middlebury; Mike Mayone Fine Art, paintings, prints, note cards, realism, landscapes, 8 Case St., Middlebury; True Water Gallery – Molly Hawley, portraits, landscapes, abstracts and fabric art, 1266 Route 125, Ripton; and John Chiles Glass, vases, bowls, pitchers, ornaments and tumblers, 690 Route 73, Orwell.
In Brandon, which is just over the line in Rutland County, visit these artists: Medana Gabbard Gallery at 1340 Grove St., folk art paintings, mosaics and landscapes; Joan Curtis, 10 Union St., mixed-media artwork; and Smith-Hunter Studio, 4 Railroad Ave., ceramic sculpture, mosaics and pottery.

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