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June 23rd, 2017

The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council presents…

Saturday, June 24, 10 – 5 p.m. & Sunday, June 25, 10 – 4 p.m.
31 Artists’ Studios in Sharon, Lakeville & Salisbury, CT – FREE

TOAST-the-TOUR “after-party”
Saturday, June 24 at 5 pm
Lakeville Interiors, 7 Holley St, Lakeville, CT


The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is presenting the eighth annual Open Your Eyes Studio Tour on June 24 and 25, 2017 in the towns of Sharon, Lakeville and Salisbury, CT.  The 2017 tour will feature 31 artists who have their studios in those towns. Participating visual artists and artisans will open their creative spaces and show their processes to the public during the days of the tour.  Free ticket packets can be ordered through the website and include a map, direction sheets, suggested itineraries and convenient sign-in stickers.

There will be a Toast-the-Tour “after-party” on Saturday, June 24 at 5 pm hosted and sponsored by Lakeville Interiors.  Tickets are $15 and can be ordered on-line at openyoureyestour.org or at any of the three info stations on June 24. The Tour Info Stations will be at Sharon Historical Society, The White Gallery in Lakeville, and Salisbury General Store & Pharmacy. Amy Wynn, executive director of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council said, “Lakeville Interiors is sort of a bonus studio on the tour, with its custom, handcrafted approach to personalized interior design. This “after-party” is a new activity that we’ve added onto the Tour this year. We anticipate that guests will share their impressions with one another of the studios that they visited Saturday before they head off to dinner at one of the local restaurants listed in the Tour map.”

The Studio Tour is free to the public, thanks to the support of Housatonic Heritage, the Republican-American, WSHU-FM, the Matthews Group, the Kestrel Foundation, Elyse Harney Real Estate, Imagine Design & Construction, with additional support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD.

This year’s tour artists include painters, photographers, sculptors, multi-media artists, ceramicists, textile artists, jewelers, printmakers, woodworkers and a blacksmith.  The artists and artisans are Nancy Zarider, Joan Jardine, Tom Goldenberg, William Trowbridge, Eric Forstmann, Tara O’Neill, Lilly Woodworth, Randy Orzano, Alistair Jones, Doug Evans, Warren Prindle, Patricia Decker, Nunwell Glass, Robert Bristow, Joel Schapira, Diane Schapira, Hilary Cooper, John Atchley, Karen LeSage, Leslie Sykes O’Neill, Kate Stiassni, Roger McKee, David Bowen, Serena Weld Granbery, Susan Rand, Justine Valla, Charlie Noyes, Karin Noyes, Undermountain Weavers, Dorothy Fox and Jodi Luby.

Maggie Cady, program director for the Arts Council added, “We are really pleased at the response so far. This year’s advance Tour Ticket Packet orders have more than doubled previous year’s orders at this point. We have a lot of returning visitors, and many come from throughout Connecticut and out of state as well.  We are really proud to show off the artists and our region with this event.”

“This event gives the visitor an up-close experience to see how and where the artists do their work.  The Arts Council knows that when the public learns first-hand from the artist about what is involved with the making of a work and the ‘story’ behind it, a deeper connection and involvement with the art work happens. In addition, people going on the Open Your Eyes Studio Tour will discover truly beautiful sections of our region that they might not otherwise find,” said Amy Wynn, Northwest Connecticut Arts Council’s executive director.

Each year the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council selects groups of towns within its 25-town service area for the tour. In recent years the event has seen almost 1000 visitors, with many returning annually. The aim of Open Your Eyes Studio Tour is to shine a light on the many artists who live and work in our region, to give the community a greater understanding and appreciation for the arts and the creative process, and to draw attention to the towns in which these artists live and work. After bringing this event to all 25 of the towns in its service area, the Council is starting a second cycle of this tour, due to popular demand.  The Tour was presented in Sharon, Lakeville and Salisbury last in 2012.

The mission of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is to promote the arts and cultural resources of Northwestern Connecticut as integral contributors to the quality of life in the region, to assist all artists and cultural organizations in their efforts to thrive, and to inform the general public about, and give access to the arts and culture of the region. The Council serves Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Burlington, Colebrook, Cornwall, Falls Village/Canaan, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, New Milford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Plymouth, Roxbury, Salisbury/Lakeville, Sharon, Thomaston, Torrington, Warren, Washington, Winchester, and towns surrounding this service area.

The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is supported in part by the DECD/Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, and the Connecticut Community Foundation. For more information about the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, call (860) 618-0075, email info@artsnwct.org or go to www.artsnwct.org.

For information about Open Your Eyes Studio Tour go to openyoureyestour.org or contact the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council at 860-618-0075 or maggie@artsnwct.org.

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