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Elissa’s Picks for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoWelcome the third in my series of blog posts about ways to plan your Open Studio Weekend tour.

In this post I listed the book arts studios I’d visit if I were touring this weekend. Of course, I would also visit studios by artists working in other media. Some of my suggestions are listed below.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2014. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map below.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

First stop would be #110, Judith Reilly. Her work is seriously wonderful and Judy is a serious sweetheart (and a good hugger). To consider her a quilter just doesn’t do her justice – she really paints with fabric. In her own words, her pieces “express both realistic and fantastic interpretations in a catawampus and quirky style”.

#167, Mary Hill of Mary Hill Studios would be my next stop. Mary is a vibrant person and her work reflects it. She creates inspirational banners that beckon you to listen to the messages within. I commissioned her to make me a banner that says “cheese” and it hangs prominently in my studio. You’re in for a treat if you visit Mary this spring, as she has a participatory truck painting project in store for you.

Next I’d visit Kristin Richland of Sweet Enemy Art, #170. I really can’t describe Kristin’s work better than she does – “I do enjoy the spookier side of the art world as much as I do the cuter side, so consider yourself warned.” Her paintings of creatures and critters are the work of an active imagination, the one you wish you never lost when you grew up. I love love love her monsters. I want to hug them. And run screaming from them. It’s the best of both worlds.

Lastly, I’d visit #197 Trenny Robb and Bob Michaud of High Beams. Trenny and Rob create light fixtures from copper and brass and use real leaves and petals, mica, fabric, and parchment in the shades. The mica shades are particularly awesome – when the lamps are lit, the glowing color is just mesmerizing. You can check out their most recent work on this Pinterest board.

Overall, these studios aren’t very close to each other (although Mary and Kristen are nearly neighbors). If you split your tour up between two days, it should be doable.


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