The Hidden Studios: Art Along the Ice Age Trail tour will feature 18 artists at seven Portage County studios Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7.
Hours for the self-guided tour, during which people can travel to various working fine art studios, are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We come to the tour year after year”, said collectors Ann and Daryl Iverson of Menomonee. “The art work that we discover continually amazes us. We look forward to seeing what is new on the tour, but we also have favorite artists that we visit each time.”
New artists participating in the tour include August Kochanowski, a Junction City-based metal sculptor who has works on display at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus.
Frances Kite, a cloisonné jeweler from Kansas, is also new to this year’s tour. Some of her work is included in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art museum in Washington, D.C.
Jeweler Brenda Gingles has participated in the tour previously as a guest artist. This year her new studio near Nelsonville has joined the Hidden Studios tour.
Pierre Ovanin is a potter from Amherst and his studio is also new to the tour this year.
The tour is an opportunity for people to talk with artists about their work. Visitors can see where work is created and ask about how and why the art is made. It is also an opportunity to purchase original art directly from the artist.
“The part of the Hidden Studios tour that we appreciate the most is the opportunity to talk with each artist and learn about their craft. How do they decide to do what they do? What tools do they use?” said Daryl Iverson. “I like to know the ‘how’ behind the ‘what’, and these artists have all been more than willing to explain their art to me in as much detail as I want to know.”
In addition to the artists of the Hidden Studios, there are many restaurants, galleries, gift shops and other places to explore along roads of rural Portage and Waupaca counties.
“With the fall colors at their peak during the tour, the drive from one studio to the next is beautiful. We wouldn’t miss it for the world,” said Ann Iverson.
In addition to Kochanowski, Kite, Gingles and Ovanin, featured artists and their specialties include Kathy Brown, basketry; Win Byers, pottery; Diane Canfield Bywaters, landscape paintings; John Davenport, oil paintings and pastels; Rick Foris, raku ceramics; Fred Forseth, photography; Sharon Fujimoto, blown glass; Paul Klein, sculptural lighting; Pat and Ken Larson, clay sculpture; Carol Molepske, pastel and oil paintings; John Morser, photography; Dan Pohl, furniture; Gene Reineking, sculpture; and Jeanne Weymouth, wearable art.
The seven studios participating in The Hidden Studios tour this year are located in and around Amherst, Amherst Junction and Almond. They include: in Amherst: Cherry Oak Pottery, 6770 County Road TT; in Amherst Junction: Rick Foris Pottery, 189 County Road ZZ North, Brenda Gingles Jewelry, 9236 County Road SS, New Hope in Wood, 10301 County Road MM, and Sharon Fujimoto Glass, 10491 Trout Creek Road; and in Almond: Rolling Oaks Studio, 10455 Oakdale Drive, and Red Sky Studio, 8092 County Road GG. The studios will be marked by blue banners. A tour map and additional artist information can be downloaded from www.hiddenstudiosarttour.com