A visual journey: Sixth annual ARTTOUR Open Studios takes participants into a personal viewing of artists’ spaces 

Published 10:41 am Friday, October 27, 2017

The annual ARTTOUR Open Studios will hit Danville and Harrodsburg the weekend of Nov. 4. This year boasts 10 locations spread between Boyle and Mercer counties, with two days to tour local artists’ studios. The tour runs through Sunday.
The Open Studios idea was brought about to bring art lovers into artists’ personal space, inside the settings that inspire them to create. Referred to as a “visual journey” by organizers, many participants spend a day in each town completing the tours, visiting different retailers and eateries in the area.
One location — Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary, owned by artist Kathleen O’Brien and her husband — even offers surrounding land which they welcome participants to trek around on or get a quick hike in. Their home is off a country road in Mercer County, situated near Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
O’Brien is the creator of the tour which is in its sixth year now. She passed the lead organizer torch to local artist John Andrew Dixon last year. The year before Dixon took over, there were two Boyle locations on the tour — this year, there are five, balancing out the Mercer-Boyle footprint and offering participants a contrasting range of experiences, from rural to city settings, to a unique eatery and fully-stocked galleries.
Last year, O’Brien and Dixon said the tour had attracted visitors from other states. “I love to hear, ‘See you next year,’ with people who plan to return to the ARTTOUR,” said O’Brien. “I love watching art lovers light from the art, and from being exposed to the artist in their own unique settings.”
2017 ARTTOUR Open Studios participants
In Harrodsburg/Mercer County
Cynthia Carr, Crosswinds Pottery, 340 Henry Robinson Road
Carr creates functional wheel-thrown pottery, custom lighting, and mixed media works for home and garden at Crosswinds Pottery and offers a collection of vintage and unique architectural finds in a large three-bent barn.
Kathleen O’Brien, Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary, 875 Phillips Lane
fuses painting, drawing, and botanicals in her collage works inspired by nature and ancestral wisdom. She also creates unique jewelry using hand-made, antique and ancient beads in her studio at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary.
Panther Totem Blessings, 1767 Curdsville Road
A a culinary/medicinal herb farm and gift shop offering all-natural lotions, where herbalist Judy Bagan is host to several guest artists.
Laura Sullivan, Wanderland’s Wildlife Retreat, 729 N. Greenville St.
Sullivan paints impressionistic, colorful artworks at State of Mind Art Studio at Wanderland, a 200-year-old home, B&B and wildlife retreat.
Arts Council of Mercer County, 198 S. Main St.
The council displays the work of more than 40 local and regional artists/artisans at this modern gallery space in historic Harrodsburg.
In Danville/Boyle County
Connie Estes Beale, 55 Tibbs Lane
Beale works in collage to create unique two-dimensional environments and paints both landscapes and still lifes at her studio near Lake Herrington.
John Andrew Dixon, 324 W. Broadway
Dixon relies on a deep foundation in design and his fine artisanship to create intricate collage artworks and wood engraving prints at his studio/gallery, Dixon Design.
Paul Muth, Sugar Grove Pottery & Eclectica, 414 Logan Ave.
Muth creates functional wheel-thrown vessels, as well as blockprints and paintings in a unique style, at his studio behind his home.
Community Arts Center, 401 W. Main St.
CAC features Horizon: Contemporary Landscape, a national juried exhibit that challenges artists to explore landscape art in new ways using a variety of media, as well as Infinity, a collaborative project by a local group, Gathering Artists.
Grace Café, 219 S. Fourth St.
Grace serves up culinary artistry, using fresh, often-organic food for lunch and Sunday brunch. Photography by Nick Lacy is on display at this unique non-profit, pay-what-you-can eatery.
The annual ARTTOUR Open Studios starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-5, and goes through 5 p.m. both days. Find updates about special activities and offers as well as a link to the Google map of destinations at www.arttourky.com.

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