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BRATTLEBORO — More than 150 Vermont artisans are opening their studios over Memorial Day weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Vermont’s Spring Open Studio Weekend.

In Brattleboro and neighboring West Brattleboro and Marlboro alone, tour-goers will have the chance to visit 15 artists in seven studios and one gallery during the event. Of those artists, 14 are members of Brattleboro-West Arts, a group of about two dozen artists and crafters who have worked together since 2008 to support one another and increase the visibility of local art in the community. This year’s spring tour will feature a collection of works by seven members under one roof in the open-air pavilion adjacent to Orchard Street Pottery, the studio of Brattleboro-West Arts Coordinator Walter Slowinski.

Brattleboro-area artist stops are: Applewoods Woodworking Studio and Gallery, David and Michelle Holzapfel; Matthew Tell Pottery; Greg Moschetti, landscapes in oil paint; Chris Lann Designs, silver jewelry; Orchard Street Pottery (main studio), Walter Slowinski; Bobbi Angell, botanical etchings; Maisie Crowther, watercolors and cards; Naomi Lindenfeld, colored clay pottery and tea art; Kris McDermet, textiles of silk and wool; Sharon Myers, fine art quilts; Gene Parulis, photographic prints and cards; Jen Wiechers, encaustics and jewelry; Beth Armour, porcelain vessels; Lesley Heathcote, pastels of animals and nature; and Vermont Artisan Designs gallery (tour information center).

Meanwhile, Bellows Falls hosts 12 artisans and two galleries, plus Main Street Arts in Saxtons River with its own Open Studio Info Center. 33 Bridge will host a mix of seven artists exhibiting there, along with music and snacks during the weekend. Artists participating include: Nick Kekic, blown glass; Clare Adams, painted glass, Teresa Hall, pottery; Mike Lewis, stone; Scott Morgan, paintings on canvas and guitars; Shannon Parker, jewelry; and Jeanette Staley, canvas floor cloths. In addition, visitors are invited to the studios of Phyllis Rosser, Robert McBride and Mindy Fisher, as well as the River Artisans Cooperative, Canal Street Gallery and Main Street Arts in Saxtons River. There will also be music during the day at 33 Bridge: Ken Rokicki, jazz guitar, for Saturday, joined by the Vermont Moonlighters, also jazz, on Sunday. Both days, the music starts around noon.

Earlier this month, Bellows Falls designated the month of May as “May, Art Month in Bellows Falls,” a townwide celebration to build awareness and appreciation of the arts and businesses throughout the town from May 9 through Memorial Day Weekend.

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There are also artists participating in Townshend, Manchester, South Londonderry, Jamaica and other towns in the southern region of the state.

Open Studio Weekend gives shoppers, visitors and collectors the opportunity to plan a tour to visit the studios of glass blowers, potters, metal workers, jewelers, weavers, painters, woodworkers, photographers, book artists, printmakers, felt makers, dyers, basket-makers and rug hookers.

Folks are invited to come behind the scenes into the locations where each artist’s work is made. All are invited to ask questions, view demonstrations and purchase original handmade artwork from a wider selection than is available online or through galleries. Many artists will accept custom orders and offer seconds and discontinued designs for sale on this weekend.

Visitors can also use the tour to visit over 20 small galleries and art centers that exhibit and sell the work of a variety of local artists. Each small gallery has its own collection of local artisan work. Several of these centers will feature groups of artists and themed displays and special sales for the weekend.

A printed map booklet, available at many Vermont information centers and rest areas or online, allows tour-goers to plan their own route through the Vermont countryside. For more information, including a full list of artists in all towns, visit vermontcrafts.com/visit-open-studio.


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