Tours of beauty

Two Monadnock Region art tours Columbus Day weekend

  • Dominique Caissie does a glassblowing demo for attendees of last year's Monadnock Art Tour at Terrapin Glassblowing Studio. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Linda Dessaint. Courtesy—

  • Gerry Friedman. Courtesy—

  • Susan Wadsworth. Courtesy—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, October 03, 2018 4:10PM

Feel like taking a scenic drive this weekend? Sure, the bright colors of foliage season are always a reason to get in the car for Columbus Day weekend, but in the midst of looking for the best red, orange and yellow leaves, why not make a few stops along the way thanks to a pair of self-guided studio tours in the region.

Many towns in the region will have stops for art enthusiasts on both the Monadnock Art Open Studio Tour and Fall Foliage Studio Art Tour to check out individual studios, watch demos and see where the creative process happens. There will be art on display and for sale, while getting an up-close look at the spaces that some of the region’s most talented artists do their work.

Both tours are free and run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily over the three-day holiday weekend, although some of the studios will only be open Saturday and Sunday. 

Monadnock Art

The Monadnock Art Open Studio Art Tour is entering its 23rd year and has grown into a can’t miss event for the fall season.

“We believe it’s the largest studio art tour in New Hampshire, and longest running,” said Joe Caracappa, president of the board for Monadnock Art.

The tour is open to members of Monadnock Art and features 50 stops and close to 70 artists in seven local towns, including Peterborough, Sharon, Dublin, Jaffrey, Hancock – along with Harrisville and Marlborough.

“We have a lot of artists that have been involved for years,” Caracappa said. “And there’s a lot of demand to get in.”

In Peterborough, there will be a long list of painters, like Dave Dodge and Robin Oliver showcasing oil works, as well as watercolorists like Lynn Heckathorn, and mixed media artists opening their studio doors.

There are multiple artists who work in glass in Jaffrey with Dominique Caissie and Jocelyn Brown – at Terrapin Glassblowing Studio – and Susan Roston. Nancy Good Cayford, Rebecca Welsh and Miriam Carter are all located in Dublin and work with fiber.

Head to 2 Shire Road in Hancock and with three artists at the studio, there will be ceramics, paper collage, glass mosaic and jewelry to see.

“We have every genre of visual art,” Caracappa said. “We always have a good blend.”

Many locations will have more than one artist, and each stop along the way will be unique depending on the discipline.

“It’s up to the artists how much they’re going to be working,” Caracappa said.

In addition to the tour, there is a gallery show at the Sharon Arts Center featuring all the artists that will be up through Oct. 27.

“You can see everybody who’s on the tour and then decide who you want to visit,” Caracappa said.

For more info and a copy of the map, visit monadnockart.org/art-tour.

Fall Foliage

The Fall Foliage Arts Tour is entering its 11th year and includes 25 stops and 27 artists in eight towns, including local spots like New Ipswich, Rindge and Antrim, and places like Swanzey, Keene, Nelson, Fitzwilliam and Munsonville.

Susan Wadsworth of Rindge helped start the tour 11 years ago, and enjoys educating people about her abstract work. She might even let folks try their hand at it

This tour features artists that surround the Monadnock Art tour and Wadsworth hopes that people will take the opportunity to experience studios in both.

“I figure the more artists the better,” Wadsworth said. “Between the two, that’s more than 75 stops and artists in the area. There are more and more artist tours around and that’s a good thing.”

The goal of the tour is to have 25 stops, but it’s great when multiple artists decide to share the space for the tour to allow for even more exposure, Wadsworth said.

“We have some new artists and designers in the group,” Wadsworth said.

This will be the second year the Fall Foliage tour expanded to include the Columbus Day holiday, and it’s up to the individual artists if they want to be open for the third day.

Shana Brautigam of Rooted in Clay in Rindge, will be demonstrating some of her hand-building techniques, and running her outdoor wood-fired oven. Antrim’s Linda Dessaint will have lots of work on display and plans to show a pastel painting in its different stages. Also in Antrim will be glass blower Alex Kalish.

In New Ipswich, Danielle Le Bris will show off her encaustic work in the same studio as Gerry Friedman’s sculptures. Roland Coates, a watercolorists and colored pencil artist, is also located in New Ipswich.

For more info on the artists and a tour map, visit fallfoliageartstudiotour.com/Home.html.