Art on the road

Berkeley Springs Studio Tour opens doors to show artists at work

Berkeley Springs Studio Tour opens doors to show artists at work

October 20, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The eclectic blend of painters, potters and printers who make up the Berkeley Springs area arts community are ready to open their doors to curious art seekers this weekend as part of the biannual studio tour and art sale.

On Saturday and Sunday, 19 artists will demonstrate their art forms and techniques at 14 locations throughout Morgan County. Artists also will put their work up for sale.

"Everybody that is in the tour is actually working while people are coming through," explains potter and stained glass artist, Veronica Wilson. "You get hands-on interaction. You see the process."


Artists who have welcomed the public into their studio spaces during previous studio tour weekends say people often leave Berkeley Springs with artistic inspiration.

Many visitors have gottenideas for their own art projectsafter visiting the numerous art studios and galleries on the tour, says Ellen C. Gould of The Mosaic Art Studio.

Nature and more

This weekend, with the backdrop of emerging fall foliage, visitors also might witness Mother Nature at work.

"The leaves are still just barely turning," Gould says. "This weekend I think is going to be a real highlight of the trees."

The studio tour weekend starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, with an opening reception at the Mallory Gallery, 342 N. Washington St., Berkeley Springs. Participating tour studios are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23. Studios are spread throughout Morgan County with many surrounding the towns of Berkeley Springs and Hedgesville.

Tour maps can be picked up at The Ice House Co-op Gallery in downtown Berkeley Springs, at the Chamber of Commerce office and the Berkeley Springs Visitors Center. Studio tour sponsor locations are marked with yellow and blue tour signs.

Art in action

On the tour, guests "can see how it can be done and how (art) can be fun," Gould says.

The type of artists participating in the tour this weekend are many and varied, including fabric weavers, jewelry makers, and those who work with forged metal and stained glass.

Jon Raedeke is a printer with The Written Word, a shop that specializes in antique printing methods. The Berkeley Springs studio has three working presses, including one from the 1880s.

Letterpress printing "is an old method of printing in which you use hand-set metal and wood type," Raedeke explains. "The type is inked up and pressed onto the paper. It's sort of a dying art. There are a few places in the country that do it, but we are one of the few."

Berkeley Springs-based artists say interest in the self-guided studio tour grows for each tour as the community continues to be listed among the top 10 national small-town art destinations by various publications.

"We have people who come from as far away as Ohio and New York and California," Wilson says. "People kind of keep a finger on the pulse here."

Gould, who moved to Berkeley Springs because of "the lifestyle," says it's not just the visiting public that enjoys the community. Artistic people have continued to move "in waves" to the area, she says.

"Once you have a few successful artists and people hear about it, others want to come and be part of it also," she says. And when artists come to Berkeley Springs, they often are taken by the natural surroundings.

"If you look at all of the artists you see a recurring theme of the joy of the natural world," Gould says. "You'll see that we are representing the wildlife around us, the colors around us."

If you go ...

WHAT: Berkeley Springs Studio Tour

WHEN:Friday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 23

WHERE: Throughout MorganCounty, W.Va.

COST: Free

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 70 west toward Hancock. Take exit 1B and merge onto U.S. 522 south. Continue into Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Turn left onto Fairfax Street.

MORE: For more information, goto

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