Artist studio tours have become a defining element of the Hudson Valley’s summer and autumn cultural scenes. Like chamber music festivals and coordinated art openings, they provide a means for both arts and overall communities to get out and see not only what they’re creating, but also the ways in which creative sorts literally accommodate and embody the inspiration in their lives.
The annual Art Studio Views Tour that centers itself in northern Dutchess County has long been extra-special, given the nature of the estate lands covered within its extended map of sites. After all, this is the fabled country prized by Vanderbilts, Roosevelts and Livingstons – and hosts of more modern creative sorts, from Brice Marden and Jimmy Cagney to Saul Bellow and Annie Leibowitz.
Consider this weekend’s tour headquarters in three places: the Red Hook Community Arts Network and Artists’ Collective, the Betsy Jacaruso Gallery and the new Artists’ Collective of Hyde Park Gallery, started by veterans of previous years’ art tours.
Also consider this: In its sixth year now, the arts tour has whittled itself down, exchanging quality for quantity. It’ll have 17 artists showing in their studios this weekend, marked by bright-yellow signs, making it possible to visit each artist over the two days and really get to know them and their work. This means more demonstrations and hands-on events at some of the studios.
“Purchasing art directly from the artist is very personal, and will open up new ways of appreciating the art they buy, once they experience what goes into making their masterpiece,” says event organizer and stained-glass artist Doris Cultraro. “When purchasing art for oneself or to commemorate a special life event by choosing to give a work of art, a bond is created with the artist. We hope that relationship continues. It’s very personal and rewarding, with a story that will endure over time.”
Art Studio Views Tour, Saturday/Sunday, August 31/September 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Route 9/9G corridors, Red Hook, Hyde Park, Rhinebeck & Tivoli; www.artstudioviews.com.