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Open Studios Offers “Artful Living” in Washington County

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Open Studios Tour of Washington County, NY 2011

Open Studios Tour, Washington CountyOn the weekend of July 16 and 17 from 10am-5pm, expect a real treat, as Open Studios in Washington County is holding its 2011 tour. The tour, which takes place throughout Washington County (an area referred to by some as the Tuscany of New York), is an annual event where the public will get the chance to view the works and the unique studio settings of many of the area’s professional artists. The participating artists’ works encompasses a variety of mediums; art that you’ll find along the tour will include carousel-style rocking horses, fine gourdwork, bronze sculpture, ceramics, mixed media constructions, folk art, paintings and pastels.

Over the years, Open Studios has attracted both national and international attention, from its home base in New York to the far reaches of New Zealand. According to the tour’s director, Sue Sanderson, “The Open Studios weekend is a mini-vacation from the everyday world where each visitor experiences the creative forces of Washington County–from the beautiful drives through the county, the conversations with the artists, the experience of each studio, and the hundreds of diverse works that they will see in this two-day period.”

Open Studios Tour, Washington CountyWhat makes this tour unique is that instead of the work appearing in a museum or gallery, the artist is actually inviting patrons into their own studios, where the real magic happens. You’ll have the chance to interact with the artists and ask them questions about their work, as well as get a glimpse into their innovative workspaces–consisting of converted farmhouses, factories and barns.

“People were visibly inspired by the beauty of our rural landscape and impressed with the quality and professionalism of the artists on the tour,” says Open Studios founder and organic sculptor Serena Kovalosky about last year’s event. “The relaxed atmosphere and intimacy of each studio made it easy for visitors to fully appreciate the artwork and strike up conversations with the artists. We encourage visitors to get to know their favorite artists, to develop a relationship with them so they can make an informed purchase of their work.”

This year’s list of participants includes both new and returning artists. New to this year’s tour are folk artist Art Poulin, painters Arleen Targan, Patty Happy, and Jim Schanz, and ceramicist Regina Wickham. Returning artists are Will Moses, Hannie Varosy, Joan Duff-Bohrer, Ed Hepp, Serena Kovalosky, Adriano Manocchia, Leslie Parke, Leslie Anne Peck, Virginia McNeice, and Gyula Varosy.

On Saturday, July 16 from 5:30-7:30pm, there will also be a reception and complimentary meet-and-greet at the Freight Depot at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, featuring hors d’oeuvres and wine courtesy of Spoonful Catering; guests will get the chance to mingle with artists and other Open Studios guests.

Open Studios Tour, Washington CountyFor those whom may get hungry before then, box lunches will also be available for purchase by Spoonful Kitchen at $14 each. All lunches need to be ordered in advance (and can be ordered on the Open Studio website) and picked up the day of at the Battenkill Bookstore in Cambridge. The menu will consist of a grilled vegetable and fresh mozzarella sandwich on fresh bread, along with homemade cookies and a beverage. Another added plus is that all the foods served are also locally grown and farmed.

The event will take place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, 2011. Click here for a map and tour kit. And for more information on the tour, visit or call 518-692-2742.

–Helen Holt is an Assistant Editor for The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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