Hanging on my wall is an original painting I purchased during the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour in Mountain View a few years ago. While I love the painting of the lady, I especially like the memory of where it came from. I traveled down country roads to find one-of-a-kind studios in the most rural of places, and paid visits to creative spots in the middle of town. The pleasure of the travel was just as fun as the arrival to the artists’ spaces.
That studio tour takes place this weekend. Other towns offer studio tours too. Here’s information on three:
The 9th annual Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour in Mountain View is set for Sept. 17-19. It is a free, self-guided driving tour of the private working studios of area artists and crafts artisans located within 30 miles of the courthouse square. Visitors are given a program which contains maps and directions to each of the venues along with information about each of the participating artists. There will be 30 studios on the tour this year including seven new ones.
As they travel “off the beaten path” in the scenic Ozark Mountains, visitors receive a rare glimpse into the creative spaces where the artists craft their baskets, paintings, pottery, stained glass, candles, weaving, photographs, and more. The public can also purchase an original piece of art or fine craft directly from the artisan. Tour hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Visit www.offthebeatenpathstudiotour.com or call 870-269-4103 for details.
Also this weekend is the Chuck Wagon Cook-off, where event-goers can see historic wagons from the trail brought to life, and enjoy an authentic chuck wagon meal. It takes place at the Stone County Fairgrounds. Call 870-269-8068 for more information.
The Ozark Mountain Artists Studio Tour on Sept. 17-19 takes place in Newton County along Scenic Ark. 7 through Jasper to Ark. 74 to Ponca and the Boxley area then back towards Harrison. The tour is offered each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most artists serve refreshments. Restaurants in Jasper offer box lunches. Visit www.ozarkmountainartists.com for information on individual artists and tour maps.
Area artists open their private studios to the public for three days, Sept. 24-26, during the 5th annual Eureka Springs Artists Studio Tour. The free, self-guided tour allows for the public to watch demonstrations and interact with the artists in their working environment. Artwork on exhibit and for sale includes original paintings and prints, pottery, fiber art, musical instruments, jewelry, and found object art. Visit www.eurekaspringsstudiotour.com or call 479-363-9402 for details.