Every fall, artists and galleries throughout the region organize self-guided studio tours. They are a great way to meet artists in the surroundings that inspire their creativity. It’s also a great way to combine a weekend enjoying the autumn colors with some early holiday shopping.
Here is a round-up of tours in the region. All of the tours are self-guided, and most are free. Maps can be downloaded on most sites, and many now offer mobile-phone-friendly downloads.
Nov. 25–26, 10:00am–4:00pm
The 15-member “ever-evolving” group of established and new artists, from Dagsboro to Bethany Beach, open their studios. Paintings, collages, and woodturning are among the media. Raffle tickets for artworks benefit community art projects. The downloadable map includes information about each artist’s preferred media and a bio.
Oct. 22–23, 29–30, 11:00am–5:00pm
With 25 locations in Allegheny and Garrett counties, the tour runs for two consecutive weekends. Every type of media is represented, and many artists will demonstrate their techniques. A booklet with tour information is available throughout the area. The map and mobile link is on the website.
Oct. 22–23, 29–30
A long-running and very large tour on the Eastern Shore, it features some 50 artists from Rock Hall to Galena and Betterton to Church Hill. The Chestertown RiverArts Gallery, in downtown Chestertown, has examples of each artist’s works, as well as maps. The weekend of Oct. 29–30 coincides with the Downrigging Weekend Festival of tall ships in Chestertown.
Artists in the Middletown and Pleasant Valley areas in Frederick and Washington counties open their studios for the 34th annual tour. In addition to the usual arts, a media mosaic artist, iron forger, cider-maker, and cheese-maker participate.
Dec. 3–4, 10:00am–5:00pm
Follow the trail from Taneytown to Sykeville with 11 stops and 13 artists on the 10th annual open studio event. Wood turning, handspun yarn, and forged ironwork are among the less-common works displayed. A mobile-friendly downloadable map is on the website.
Works by 27 artists are displayed at 22 stops in Susquehanna County. Included are painting, bird carving, stained glass, furniture, and collage. On Monday, many artists actually demonstrate their crafts.
The brochure highlights “friends” of the weekend, including restaurants, lodging, and shops (including a chocolatier). Follow the map or the hot pink directional arrows.
This may be the most unusual tour, in that all of the artists are potters. Nearly 20 potters in western Pennsylvania’s Indiana County demonstrate the many forms that simple clay can take at nine locations. Demonstrations of the potter’s wheel and other ways of working clay are part of the visits. Fall foliage should be at its peak that weekend. Download a Google map to the sites.
Oct. 1-2, 10:00am–5:00pm
Some 30 artisans at 22 stops in and around the Berryville area welcome visitors 10:00am-5:00pm on Oct. 1 and 2.
You’ll find woodworking, fabric, acrylic, watercolors, and repurposed architectural salvage decorative items, among other media.
Meet the artists in their “natural habitats” according to the website — converted barns, traditional studios — in towns or in the country. The headquarters of the tour is the library at 9830 Georgetown Pike in Great Falls. Samples of all of the artists’ work are on display and staff there will help you design a route.
This is the only tour for which there is a charge. The $10 fee goes to an arts fund. Some 50 juried artists offer glimpses of their creative process and a tour of the Rappahannock County foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The map and tickets are available at the Old Schoolhouse, 567 Mount Salem Road, Washington, Va.
Nov. 12–13, 10:00am–5:00pm
One of the more prestigious of the studio tours, as all the artists are juried and must submit their work for review in order to be included. This year’s tour is also one of the largest, with 42 artists in 23 locations. The tour has some special features, including an emerging artists program. A popular part of the weekend is the “Passport” program. Have these papers stamped at each location and be entered into a drawing for artwork or gift certificates. Map and directions are found on the website.
Oct. 22–23, 10:00am–5:00pm
At the height of fall foliage, the artists open their studios. Contemporary and traditional art and fine crafts are on display, with demonstrations by many of the artists and crafters. The mobile-friendly map is online.
“Creativity Where It Lives” is the theme of this tour, which winds through the back roads of the area around Martinsburg. There are 10 studios and 15 artists on the tour, including a clockmaker and basket weaver. If you visit all studios, you are eligible for a drawing for a gift certificate for any of the artists. The downloadable brochure includes photos of artists’ work as well as maps and directions.
Nov. 12–13, 10:00am–5:00pm
Nine locations in the Charles Town and Shepherdstown area showcase work by 24 artists.
Some of the lesser-seen media are featured, like Appalachian-inspired stained glass scenes, paper cut and book art, gourd art, heirloom wooden toys and handcrafted wooden bowls, and reproduction furniture. Download the map or use the mobile link.