Northwest Connecticut Arts Council
Sharon, Lakeville, Salisbury >> The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is presenting the eighth annual Open Your Eyes Studio Tour on June 24 and 25, 2017 in the towns of Sharon, Lakeville and Salisbury. The 2017 tour will feature more than 30 artists who have their studios in those towns. Participating visual artists and artisans will open their creative spaces and show their processes to the public during the days of the tour. Free ticket packets can be ordered through the website and include a map, direction sheets, suggested itineraries and convenient sign-in stickers.
There will be a Preview Party on Sunday, June 11 at 3 pm at Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury. This preview is the only time where a sample the work of each artist on the Tour will be displayed in one location, and almost all the Tour artists will be in attendance. At this pre-event celebration of the participating artists, the Arts Council staff will have information and free Ticket Packets available for party attendees. There will also be a drawing for $50 Art Bucks certificates at the party for guests who have registered online by June 11 or who register at the party for their Ticket Packets.
The Preview Party and the Studio Tour are free to the public, thanks to the support of Housatonic Heritage, the Republican-American, WSHU-FM, the Matthews Group, the Kestrel Foundation, Harney Real Estate, Imagine Design & Construction, with additional support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD.
This year’s tour artists include painters, photographers, sculptors, multi-media artists, ceramicists, textile artists, jewelers, printmakers, woodworkers and a blacksmith. The artists and artisans are Nanzy Zarider, Joan Jardine, Tom Goldenberg, William Trowbridge, Eric Forstmann, Tara O’Neill, Lilly Woodworth, Randy Orzano, Alistair Jones, Doug Evans, Warren Prindle, Patricia Decker, Nunwell Glass, Robert Bristow, Joel Schapira, Diane Schapira, Hilary Cooper, John Atchley, Karen LeSage, Leslie Sykes O’Neill, Kate Stiassni, Roger McKee, David Bowen, Serena Weld Granbery, Susan Rand, Justine Valla, Charlie Noyes, Karin Noyes, Undermountain Weavers, Dorothy Fox and Jodi Luby.
Each year the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council selects groups of towns within its 25-town service area for the tour. In recent years the event has seen almost 1000 visitors, with many returning annually. The aim of Open Your Eyes Studio Tour is to shine a light on the many artists who live and work in our region, to give the community a greater understanding and appreciation for the arts and the creative process, and to draw attention to the towns in which these artists live and work. After bringing this event to all 25 of the towns in its service area, the Council is starting a second cycle of this tour, due to popular demand. The Tour was presented in Sharon, Lakeville and Salisbury last in 2012.
“This event gives the visitor an up-close experience to see how and where the artists do their work. The Arts Council knows that when the public learns first-hand from the artist about what is involved with the making of a work and the ‘story’ behind it, a deeper connection and involvement with the art work happens. In addition, people going on the Open Your Eyes Studio Tour will discover truly beautiful sections of our region that they might not otherwise find,” said Amy Wynn, Northwest Connecticut Arts Council’s executive director.
Maggie Cady, program director for the Arts Council added, “This year’s artist roster includes many returning 2012 tour artists with new work, and 14 new artists that have never opened their studios for this event before. Also new this year will be a Toast the Tour after-party on June 24th, hosted by Lakeville Interiors, followed by a set of dinners in private homes in the region, to raise funds for the Arts Council and the Tour.”
The mission of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is to promote the arts and cultural resources of Northwestern Connecticut as integral contributors to the quality of life in the region, to assist all artists and cultural organizations in their efforts to thrive, and to inform the general public about, and give access to the arts and culture of the region. The Council serves Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Burlington, Colebrook, Cornwall, Falls Village/Canaan, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, New Milford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Plymouth, Roxbury, Salisbury/Lakeville, Sharon, Thomaston, Torrington, Warren, Washington, Winchester, and towns surrounding this service area.
The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is supported in part by the DECD/Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, and the Connecticut Community Foundation. For more information about the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, call (860) 618-0075, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.artsnwct.org.