One of the area’s classic, annual events, the Hidden Studios Art Tour, will become center stage starting Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8. This effort, designed to offer the work of many local artists, has also become an opportunity to introduce visitors to the surrounding communities and the exciting businesses located here. Various other enterprises have contributed generously to making it more than just a single-purpose event.
Paul Klein, one of the organizers and long-time participant, has introduced what he is calling “Hidden Studios Art Tour – Community Giving.” All twenty-five artists and craftspeople will have the opportunity to donate a portion of their sale of marked items to various community projects. These will include local school art programs, the Jensen Community Center, Amherst Opera House, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Portage County Boys and Girls Club, etc. This year’s recipient will be the Jensen Community Center.
Paul stated, “This is a wonderful community which for years has supported our artists and we feel this is a way of saying thank you. In addition, we are working hard to encourage our visitors to enjoy the many businesses that are the heart and soul of this area.”
Sharon Fujimoto, a New Hope glass artist, remarked that it is the local sponsors that contribute money to help get the word out, while others share the story with brochures, posters, and word of mouth. “We all benefit in many ways from the influx of people to our unique area.” She noted.
This year, during what is hoped will be peak colors in central Wisconsin, the tour will provide a wide variety of destinations for visitors. One repeat Hidden Studios tour-goer noted that visiting the backwoods of Portage and Waupaca County was like drifting through a classic calendar image commonly found on the walls of our homes. “It is that quiet place we all seek out, among friends, good food, exciting art, wandering wildlife, and the colors of fall.”
This year the Tour is presenting four new artists. Linda Sheard is a potter who draws her inspiration from her love of the out-of-doors and natural surroundings. “You will see the colors and patterns found where I live near the water, sky, sand and woods in my work,” she states.
Steven Palmer produces fantastical fish from found objects. Each unique piece is created from an old crutch, a paddle or other structure, filled with eclectic items, wired for hanging and even named!
Debbie Henning uses the processes of eco-printing and nature printing incorporating the use of real leaves and/or natural dyes in her production of wearable art.
Larry Anderson, another featured craftsman, stated, “It became a natural outcome for me to begin working in a variety of woods designing and creating small boxes.”
In addition to the new artists, there will be the expected offerings of every imaginable art form folks have come to expect in this well-known art tour. This includes handcrafted art glass, exciting lamps, paintings, refined jewelry, and sculpture all from nationally known artists living in the Ice Age Trail area.
For the second year running, the newest edition of the Journal from the Heartland will be available for purchase. The publisher and a selection of writers will be present for literary chatter and book signing.
The magic hours to visit the 10 participating studios are:
Friday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct 7, a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To get complete directions please visit the website: http://www.hiddenstudiosarttour.com/index.html. Stop by local businesses to grab a brochure with an enclosed map.