The 2019 tour will feature up to 50 artists and artisans who have their studios in the municipalities of Winsted, New Hartford, Colebrook & Barkhamsted (including townships/villages). Participating artists and artisans will open their creative spaces and show their processes to the public during the days of the tour.
Each year the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council selects groups of towns within its 25-town service area for the tour. Over the past nine years, the event has drawn audiences from 14 states, and 2 other countries, with many visitors returning annually. The aim of Open Your Eyes Studio Tour is to give visitors a greater understanding of the artists' creative processes, and the spaces they work within, and to draw attention to the towns in which these artists live and work. This is the second cycle of this annual event to the towns in the Arts Council's service area.
"We are so excited for the 10th anniversary of this event. It is important for the public to interact with artists and see their process, it can help demystify art and create a deeper connection between the artist and the rest of the community," says Rufus de Rham, Executive Director of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, "This is a chance for artists to open their studio doors to a curious public, and for people to have a lot of fun! I'm really looking forward to exploring the area myself."
Maddie Stenson, Program Coordinator of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council added, "We thought it would be exciting to invite more artists than ever before. In previous years, we've had about 30 artists participate on the studio tour. We're hoping that 50 artists will register this year for our largest Open Your Eyes Tour ever. I am very eager to be taking on the management and organization for the tour again this year, especially in the area of NWCT that is closest to where I grew up. We will also be issuing a limited edition t-shirt to celebrate the event's 10th anniversary!"
The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the arts and cultural resources of northwestern Connecticut. The Council considers arts and culture to be integral contributors to the quality of life in the region. The Council focuses on assisting artists and cultural organizations in their efforts to thrive, informing the public, and giving access to the arts across the region with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.