ARTrails Expands to Year-Round in 2013

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ARTrails Expands to Year-Round in 2013

Warren Arnold, of Sebastopol, creates marble sculptures in figurative and abstract style. Linda Ortiz, of Santa Rosa, works in mixed media including handmade paper, hot beeswax paints, sculptures, and fiber. Carla Sarvis, meanwhile, handcrafts kiln-formed glass in her Forestville studio, imbuing the delicate pieces with saturated colors and in-laid mosaic imagery.

What unites them, and hundreds of other talented artists across the region, is the Arts Council of Sonoma County, and its hugely popular ARTrails event, held every October.

Over two fabulous weekends of Oct. 12-13 and 19-20, 2013, these fine artists throw open their studio doors for free, self-guided tours. Visitors can enjoy a rare look at works in progress, and chat with the artists themselves about their passions and individual mediums of expression.

Following a map from the Arts Council of Sonoma County, art lovers discover that the journey is the destination, too, with studios tucked away in unassuming warehouses, private cottages on winding country lanes, and cozy urban lofts.

So beloved is the ARTrails experience, that the council has now expanded the tours to year-round. For the first time ever, select participating artists invite guests into their studios, with just a simple appointment request.

It's easy to map out, following an interactive feature on the website that categorizes studios in a Find Art Year Round directory.

Besides offering a delightful tour of Sonoma County hidden treasures, the tours are an excellent way to build on a personal art collection, since visitors can purchase works directly from the artists. Talking with the artists in their own environments, guests can gain deeper understanding of why certain pieces speak to them, and the inspiration behind them.

It's easy to make an entire day of the adventure, too, since the council now lists favorite and local 'secret' restaurants, bakeries and delis on the map. Locations are posted on line, or in a printed guide available at visitors' bureaus, art centers, libraries, art supply stores and at any of the artist studios.

There are sure to be wineries along the way, as well, open for tastings and some with notable art collections of their own.

Details: ARTrails Sonoma County & Open Studios,

Find more information about Arts & Culture, Things to Do, and Hotels & Lodging in Sonoma County.


Carey Sweet