Explore Through Art: Chester County Studio Tour – Chadds Ford Live
There’s no better excuse to get out and explore the beauty of the Brandywine Valley than the Chester County Studio Tour. This weekend, Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, May 15, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the tour showcases local artists on their home turf. With 68 studios and 165 participating artists, this is the perfect opportunity to explore the vibrant art scene, find the perfect piece to add to your collection, and see what might be lurking in your own neighborhood.
New to the studio tour? You are not alone. Every year new artists and patrons find out about this local event through social media, advertising, those fabulous guides to local businesses, word of mouth and street signs. Jeff Schaller, founder and co-ordinator of the Chester County Studio Tour, noted how exciting it is to see the signs pointing to Tour spots as you drive around the county in the days leading up to the event, when “everywhere where I shot there was a sign of a studio tour I had to pinch myself 15 years ago Schaller opened his own studio to the public for a weekend and then invited another to join, then twelve, and now 68.
Like Maryanne Buschini, who exhibits at Studio 11 in Malvern (all artists are referenced by their stop on the Studio Tour), notes that the best way to start is to “scan through the catalog and see what art speaks to you, that way you can figure out which studios to visit.”
Strategies for the most effective tour vary. “Start with a few of the studios closest to you,” said Judy DeSimone, Studio 53. “It’s fun to realize what talent may be hiding in your neighborhood.”
This year, the tour introduced a tool to help people find studios close to their current location, whether you’re leaving home or already on the go.
“Another, more relaxing way is to simply search for road signs and banners this weekend, or use the handy Find 5 online tool to identify the studios closest to you,” said Susan O’Hanlon, Studio 27.
If you’re looking to explore further, “Maybe picking your top studios in North Chester County for one of the days and your top picks for South Chester County the other day,” Monique Sarkessian suggested. , Studio 8. “For studios that house studios, if you can’t make it over the weekend of the tour, you may be able to make an appointment on another day, so keep your guides after the tour, they are gold!” Or “travel to the furthest studio and go home”, as Schaller recommended.
Plan to start early if you’re looking for specific pieces, especially County Collector items. Each artist creates a piece for $75, especially for the tour, and these prized collectibles go fast. You can get an overview of these parts in the guide or in line. Mollie Allen, Studio 40, notes that this year has an exciting vibe. “What excites me about the current art scene in Chester County/Brandywine Valley is the upbeat and positive energy I feel in this community of friendly, kind, helpful and supportive artists, mentors and teachers. encouraging.”
All styles of art will be on display on this year’s tour, from classical full pieces from air and brandywine tradition to ceramics to mixed media to modern pieces. Theresa Groff (TAO), Studio 35, notes that “the current art scene encourages Chester County artists to push their creativity and expression”.
The tour gives visitors a chance to see this creativity in a person. “The art is on the rise and if you look at the quality of the work you will be amazed,” Sarkessian said. “I guarantee those who visit the studios this year will feel very happy to look like they are surrounded by great artists.”
Participating in the tour is invaluable for artists, as Judy Lupas, Studio 1 points out. and doesn’t take long enough to market.” It allows artists to connect directly with their fans and followers.
“The whole weekend is about sharing something I’m passionate about with people who love art and pottery,” O’Hanlon said. “What’s not to like?”
Nilanjan Bhowmik, Studio 14, noted that artists also make connections through the show. “The art scene here has always been vibrant with amazing artists, and it’s getting stronger every day,” he said. “I’ve gotten to know so many talented artists over the past few years either by going to a show as an artist or visiting one and I’m thrilled to be a part of this thriving creative community.” After visiting the tour for the past few years, this year they decided to participate from their own studio with three other artists.
The tour is also a rare opportunity to take a look not only at the art on display, but also at the studios of vibrant artists. As Buschini notes, for her first participation, she had set up a tent outside to display her art. “I was pleasantly surprised that many visitors asked to come in and see my studio, which was, as usual, a big mess of work,” she says, but “they were excited to see where the artists work – and I love it.”
And many studios have other perks too, like the ability to explore hidden gems. DeSimone’s home is a popular spot for gardening enthusiasts: “My husband, a landscape architect, turned our yard into a garden magazine.” Sometimes people come just for the garden, especially those who drive by and “have always wanted to see the different plants”. They look at the art, but then ask, “Since they were here now, could they walk around and look at the gardens?”
“As an artist, it’s exciting to see more people putting this event on their calendars and looking at the art,” Schaller said. “Art can be very intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.” What better way to dive in than when the studios beckon you just down the street? “Oh, and have a designated driver,” Groff added. Many locations on the tour offer treats and drinks to guests.
There are 68 studios on the Tour, spread across Chester County. Guides are available at participating studios and area businesses. Plan your trip and find out about CountyStudioTour.com.