Peek behind the creative curtain during a fall artists’ studio tour

Jane & Marvin Bond

Mandi Moerland, Painter. Indiana Theater

Fall tours of artists’ studios around the Mid-Atlantic offer a great opportunity to meet artists where they work and to get a jump on holiday shopping, too. Choose a tour in a familiar area or venture into lesser-known locales, but either way, the fall foliage as well as the different art forms will make an interesting day trip or weekend getaway.

Here are some of the studio tours in the region. Check out the websites for detailed information. Many of them have downloadable brochures and maps so you can make individual studio choices in advance.

DELAWARE

Southeastern Delaware Artists Studio Tours

Nov. 27–28; artstudiotour.com

Fifteen artists in Sussex County at locations from Dagsboro to Bethany Beach will open their studios to visitors. Paintings, collage, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and woodturning are among the types of art offered. Raffle tickets for artworks benefit community art programs.

MARYLAND

Countryside Artisans Studio Tour

Oct. 9–11; countrysideartisans.com

Tours are also held the first two weekends in December by a group of cottage artisans in suburban Washington. There are 15 stops on the self-guided tour. Home and garden furniture, wrought ironware, woodenware, original prints, hand-blown glass, pottery, knitted and woven apparel, and jewelry are among the offerings.

Mountain Maryland Art Sale and Tour

Oct. 18–19 and Oct. 25–26; artsaleandtour.com

There’s a lot of ground to cover, with 22 locations in Allegany and Garrett counties, so two weekends are devoted to the tour. You’ll find various kinds of paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry, metal, and mixed-media items. This year, 34 artists are participating. The sponsor, Allegany Arts Council (301-777-ARTS), has a free guidebook available.

Chestertown RiverArts Studio Tour

Oct. 24–25 and Oct. 31–Nov. 1; chestertownriverarts.org

Make a weekend of it on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at this 16th annual tour, where you can meet the artists and buy original work at studio prices. Some 50 artists will feature such items as painting, photography, sculpture, metal work, pottery, fiber, woodcraft, jewelry, furniture, and glass. Studios are located within the historic town or in the outlying Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. The Chestertown RiverArts Gallery downtown has examples of each artist’s work and brochures with locations.

Valley Craft Network Studio Tour

Nov. 21–22; valleycraftnetwork.org

The Middletown and Pleasant Valley areas in central Maryland are home to many artists and artisans who put on the tour, which is in its 34th year. Pottery, paintings, wood, metal, fiber art, and goat cheese are among the specialities of the 14 participating artisans, who include a cider maker. The 10-stop tour goes through Frederick and Washington counties. 

Carroll County Artists Studio Tour

Dec. 5–6; ccartists.com

It’s a good time for holiday shopping on this Carroll County tour. There are 11 stops and some 15 artists, plus the 20-artist cooperative gallery Off Track Art, participating in this year’s tour. Paintings, forged ironwork, pottery, jewelry, photography, fiber arts, wooden boxes, and handspun yarn are among the highlights.

PENNSYLVANIA

Mandi Moerland, Painter. Indiana Theater
Mandi Moerland, Painter. Indiana Theater

Artists Open Studio Tour

Sept. 26–27; indianaartscouncil.org

Seven locations host 10 artists doing painting, sculpture, ceramic, and fiber art during this year’s tour in Indiana County.

Artists’ Open House Weekend

Oct. 10–12; artiststour.com

For the 19th year, artists in Susquehanna County are welcoming visitors; some studios are open to the public only for this annual tour. On Monday, which is Columbus Day, many of the artists will demonstrate how they create their crafts. The 21-stop tour will include work by 27 artists and include paintings, photography, fused glass jewelry, woodcarving, ceramics, collage, sculpture, prints, bird carving, stained glass, furniture, and fieldstone walls.

Potters Tour

Oct. 17–18; potterstour.com

More than 18 potters who put their own creative spin on their art will be featured in nine locations in Indiana County. Demonstrations will be going on at some of the studios.

Driving between the studios in the countryside should be pleasant, as fall colors are often at their peak this time of year.

VIRGINIA

Great Falls Studios Art Tour

Oct. 16–18; greatfallsstudios.com

This year’s tour has more than 40 artists in 25 locations in the Great Falls areas. Painting, sculpture, photography, fiber, and mixed media are among the offerings by the consortium of artists. You can read about each artist on the website.

Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour

Nov. 1–2; raac.org

Some 60 juried artists in 19 studios and six galleries will offer visitors a glimpse of the creative process and a tour of the bucolic countryside in Rappahannock County in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Painters, sculptors, and woodworkers are among the featured artists in the 10th annual tour. The starting point is the county seat of “Little” Washington, originally surveyed by George Washington in 1749.

Artisans Studio Tour

Nov. 7–8; artisansstudiotour.com

This tour features 35 artisans at 17 studios in the Charlottesville area. You can get your “passport” stamped at each location to be eligible to win a $50 shopping credit with a participating artist, and if you visit nine or more studios, you’re eligible to win a $300 credit. Each studio also provides locally sourced refreshments.

Open Studio Tour

Nov. 28–29; esartisansguild.org

Pop over to Virginia’s Eastern Shore for the annual Thanksgiving weekend tour. The tour route includes 13 studios or galleries. Some 26 artisans will be featured, with specialties such as pottery, painting, decoys, and fabric art.

WEST VIRGINIA

Trails & Trees Studio Tour

Nov. 7–8; trailsandtrees.org

Enjoy a drive at your own pace through the back roads of Berkeley County and get behind-the scenes tours of 11 studios where 16 artists are waiting to meet you. The show theme is “Meet Creativity Where It Lives.” Artists include painters, potters, a clockmaker, a basket weaver, and wood, glass, and jewelry specialists. There will be door prizes for visitors and — new this year — if you visit all 14 artists you are registered for a drawing for a $200 gift certificate for work by any Trails & Trees artist.

Over the Mountain Studio Tour

Nov. 14–15; studiotourwv.org

Everything from baskets to bears will be featured by 24 artisans at workshops and studios in nine locations in Jefferson County. Fruit-covered majolica serving bowls, animal sculptures, polished wood tables, and Appalachian-inspired stained glass scenes are among the diverse offerings.

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