Goshen artists organize self-guided studio tour

GOSHEN – Consider it the greatest art gallery you have ever visited.

The popular Round About Goshen Studio Tour is back for another season, showcasing more than a dozen artists their artwork at eight locations across the city. The self-guided tour is scheduled for October 8th and 9th and will include painting, jewelry making, quilting, photography and mixed media. Many artists will also demonstrate their techniques.

Goshen Business Circle President Amy Breakell said the group has sponsored the event for the past three years because the organization recognizes that artists are business people too. She is donating space at 18 North St. for eight artists or artist collectives.
Seven other artists and vendors will host visitors on their own lawns, she said.

“The tour is free and is designed to promote the arts community. It’s a community vitality event. We try to stimulate interest in all that is good in Goshen. A lot of that people don’t know,” Breakell said.

All destinations will be within a three-mile radius of the city center, she said. Visitors can start at any location and choose their own route. A Studio Tour sign will be installed at each location and shown on an interactive map on the GBC website.

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Lori Barker embarked on the studio tour in 2005 with her husband, the late Ernest Barker, to bring recognition to artists from the Goshen area. Lori Barker works with photography on metal, painting and other media. Ernest Barker taught art at the Gilbert School in Winsted and was known for his painting, woodworking and sculpture.

For years before leading the tour, the Barkers would show their artwork twice a year at their home studios in West Goshen, often inviting other artists to join them.

“I wanted more artists to be involved,” said Lori Barker. “In 2002 we had five other artists at our house, but not touring. In 2005 we started the Goshen Open Studio Tours.”

She said artists often have few resources to draw attention to their work. “We had no choice but to do craft shows and try to find a gallery. We needed to network and have connections. Even if you’re not selling anything, you can always find someone in your space making connections,” she said.

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Breakell said: “It’s a celebration of art for the community. It’s a time to celebrate creativity and raise awareness that (artists) are here.”

Artists exhibiting their creations at 18 North St. include Anne Marie Papineau, who exhibits etched and painted crystal glassware, originals and fine art prints; Tammie Valentine showing and demonstrating graphic design; Don Sexton, oil on canvas or mixed media on paper.

Also at 18 North St. will be Paula Bush, showing semi-precious stone bead jewelry, collage prints of the zodiac, and oracle charts; Lori Barker will have photography on metal and partnership painting; Randy Parker showcases woodcraft; Betsy Gentile shows her work in mixed media; and Goshen Star Quilters Guild show their artistic quilting work.

Additional artists and locations include Christine Mitchell, IrnGrlArt, which exhibits and demonstrates sculptures “and other whims” made from recycled pieces of metal, 102 North St.; Steven Soklin, Some Art of Art Gallery, Multimedia, 325 North St.; Karen Ostrom, Sterling and Sea Stone show and demonstrate sterling silver jewelery at 52 Hill House Road.

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Also, Nodine’s Smokehouse at 39 North St. offers free samples of gourmet meats and cheeses; Micky Jensen at Blue Amazon Studio shows and demonstrates oil, acrylic, mixed media and sculpture works at 280 East St. South. Northern Farm & Forestry LLC, Wood Crafts by Randy Parker, featuring a pumpkin painting activity at 59 Old Middle St.; and Sunset Meadow Vineyards offer chocolate and wine pairings and live music at 599 Old Middle St.

The self-guided Round About Goshen Studio Tour runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm both days. A post-tour meet-and-greet will be held at 5pm on October 9th at 18 North St., where visitors can mingle with the performers and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Visit the website or call 860-689-3959 for more information.

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