The Town of Gardiner is well-known for its wine trail, rail trail and apple trail, but now it’s carving out another path for locals, visitors and tourists to feast their eyes on: the Gardiner Art Trail. On Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 12-14, nine artists will open up their doors for free to art enthusiasts as part of the first annual Gardiner Open Studio Tour, otherwise coined with a clever pre-Halloween acronym as GOST artists.
The art trail will begin at the D. M. Weil Gallery, located at 208 Bruynswick Road, where artists Ken Aspin and Donna Weil will not only show their contemporary paintings, but also supply guests with a map of all the Gardiner galleries and studios that are participating in the event. “They can come in, have a glass of wine, a snack, get a map that will take them to several studios in Gardiner where they can see local artists in the place where they live and work beneath the scenic Shawangunks,” said Aspin.
Other GOST artists include Pam and Craig Booth, who do ceramic sculpture; Marsha Massih and John Varriano, who both are oil painters; Jonathan Pazer, an abstract photographer; Andrea McFarland, who does dry pastel landscapes; Michelle Rhodes, a sculptor as well as a ceramic pottery artist; and Lynn Isaacson, also a ceramic pottery artist.
“There were so many more artists that wanted to be a part of the tour, but were either away or having an exhibition somewhere else during the weekend,” said Aspin. “Gardiner is not a big place, but it’s filled with artists. I personally know two dozen that live and work here, so this is an opportunity to kind of unveil all of the amazing art that is created right here.”
Aspin said that they got the idea when they began to think of how popular the Shawangunk Wine Trail, the Hudson Valley Apple Trail and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail were for locals and tourists and thought, “There are a lot of artists here that are underrepresented.” He contacted Gardiner artists and said, “They were really excited about it. We picked this weekend because it’s a three-day holiday weekend and it’s peak leaf-peeping time and pick-your-own apples and pumpkin time, and thought it would be yet another great activity that people could enjoy in Gardiner.”
The tour will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday. “We drew a map on an easel at our gallery, and then printed up more maps, which people can easily follow and hit each studio in a relatively short amount of time,” he said.
The tour is free, and more information can be found at the website https://gostartists.org or by calling the D. M. Weil Gallery at 255-3336.
“We put it together in a matter of a few weeks, because we wanted to optimize the holiday weekend and all of the fall tourists who come to visit,” he said. “I’m hoping people will come, see what an incredible array of art there is here in Gardiner and making this something that we do annually, if not twice a year or more, if there’s a demand. Already we’re planning one for the late spring/early summer, and will be able to get more artists involved because they’ll have advance notice. So we’re really excited about it. We want this to be part of the arts calendar, a staple event.”