Autumn in the studios
On fall art tours, treasure hunters strike gold (and orange and red).
© Beth Gauper
The Northeast Iowa Artists' Studio Tour starts in Decorah.
In September and October, artists everywhere throw open their studio doors, inviting the public to see some fall colors along
with fine art.
It's tempting because of the scenic landscapes in which so many artists live: the bluffs of northeast Iowa, the coulees of southwest Wisconsin, the towns around Lake Pepin, the lumpy terrain of the Ice Age Trail.
"This is such a pretty area in the fall, and we thought it would be nice to have a tour where people could travel through
it,'' says potter Diana Johnston, who helped found southwest Wisconsin's Fall Art Tour, the region's oldest.
The tours are free, and many artists demonstrate their craft and provide music and treats. It's not like shopping at the
mall, that's for sure.
"You can get a slice of someone's life and see just what they do out there,'' Johnston says. "You can go home with a piece of art and have a story to go with it.''
Here are some of the best in 2013.
Trip Tips: Fall studio tours
Sept. 6-8 and 13-15, Autumn Winds Studio Tour in east-central Minnesota, with artists in Moose Lake,
Sturgeon Lake, Barnum and Askov, along the Willard Munger State Trail.
Sept. 21-22, 14 South Artists Fall Studio Tour south of Madison, with 30 artists in seven towns, including Stoughton, Paoli, Oregon, Verona and Fitchburg.
Sept. 27-Oct. 6, Crossing Borders Studio Tour on Lake Superior's North Shore, with artists at
studios between Duluth and Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Oct. 4-6, Meander, the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl, with artists at sites in and around Ortonville, Appleton, Madison, Milan, Dawson, Montevideo and Granite Falls in western Minnesota.
© Beth Gauper
Shoppers look at Dean Schwartz vases on the northeast Iowa tour.
Oct. 4-6, Fall Fresh Art Tour, with artists at studios along the Wisconsin side of Lake Pepin, from Bay City to Durand and Pepin.
Oct. 4-6, Hidden Studios Art Tour along the Ice Age Trail in central Wisconsin, with artists in studios in Almond, Amherst Junction, Iola and Waupaca.
Oct. 4-6, St. Paul Art Crawl, with artists in downtown St. Paul and the Raymond-University area.
Oct. 5, Scott County Art Crawl south of Minneapolis, with 60 artists
at studios in and around the suburbs of Shakopee, Jordan, Savage and Prior Lake.
Oct. 5-6, Artisans Road Trip in northwest Iowa, with artists in and around Storm Lake, Spirit Lake, Okoboji, Spencer and Estherville.
Oct. 5-6, Falling Leaves Art Studio Tour in western Wisconsin, with 42 artists at studios in and around Augusta, Fairchild and Osseo, southeast of Eau Claire.
Oct. 5-6, Shawano Country Miles of Art, with tours of artist studios, barn quilts and murals in Shawano and Menominee counties in northeast Wisconsin.
Oct. 11-13, Covered Bridge Studio Tour in eastern Wisconsin, with more than 60 artists in
Cedarburg, Grafton, Port Washington, Mequon, Thiensville and Newburg.
Oct. 11-13, Northeast Iowa Artists' Studio Tour, with artists at sites around Decorah, Burr Oak, St. Lucas, Waukon, West Union, Cresco, New Albin, Lansing, Elgin and Clermont.
For more, see Table-hopping in bluff country.
Oct. 11-13, Northwoods Art Tour in northeast Wisconsin, with artists at studios in and around Manitowish Waters, Boulder Junction, Minocqua and Eagle River.
Oct. 11-13, Art Studio Tour of Northeast Wisconsin, with artists at studios in and around Green Bay, Kewaunee and Algoma.
Oct. 18-20, Twenty Dirty Hands Pottery Tour, with artists at studios and a wood kiln in and around the northwest Illinois towns of Galena and Elizabeth.
© Beth Gauper
Many of the old stone storefronts of Mineral Point house artist studios and galleries.
Oct. 18-20, Southwest Wisconsin Fall Art Tour, with artists at studios between Mineral Point, Spring Green, Dodgeville and Baraboo. This tour, started in 1994, is very popular; reserve lodgings early.
Oct. 19-20, Studio ArTour, with 46 artists at 23 studios in and around Northfield, Cannon Falls and Faribault in southcentral Minnesota.
Oct. 19-20, Southeast Iowa Artists's Studio Tour, with 29 artists in and around Washington, Mount
Pleasant, Burlington and Fort Madison.
Oct. 26-27, Earth, Wood & Fire Artist Tour east of Madison, with artists in and around Lake Mills, Cambridge and Fort Atkinson.
Nov. 1-3, Art Attack in Minneapolis. Visit more than 200 artists in their studios at the Northrup King Building in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.
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