Tour de Art

Madison Area Open Art Studios holds its seventh annual event

This weekend the Madison area will host the seventh annual Open Art Studios tour. The colorful, creative and engaging event will showcase one hundred and twenty-five artists’ painting, photography, drawing and sculpture talents in an intimate setting—their studios—between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m on October 17 and 18.

“The weekend tour is unique in that it is not an art fair, it’s an opportunity to see artists in their natural habitat—the studio—actually making art and demonstrating techniques,” says event co-coordinator Tom Linfield.

The tour is organized as a series of open houses including personal studios and local homes. Linfield says that this setup gives artists the opportunity “to make art accessible—to let people see behind the curtain.” Visitors can also check out the collaboratives, where multiple artists will work and display their art together. Venues include the Madison Children’s Museum, Madison Senior Center, Vilas Zoo and East Madison Community Center.

The artists will have raw materials including sketchbooks and other tools they use in their creative process to help viewers better understand their method of making art, “from blank page to finished, ready-to-hang artwork.” Linfield says that MAOAS gives participants the opportunity to “feel the clay, touch the glass, learn how silver is melted into rings, paint is mixed on a canvas, glass is blown.”

This year’s MAOAS is being held on the same weekend as the Mineral Point/Spring Green/Baraboo/Dodgeville Fall Art Tour ( Linfield hopes to grow MAOAS each year so that it becomes well attended as the perennially popular Wisconsin Film Festival and Wisconsin Book Festival. The MAOAS experience kicked off in September with an exhibition at Overture Center, where each artist had a sample of his or her work on display. The exhibition runs through October 18.

For more information including work by past artists and interactive studio maps, visit the Madison Area Open Art Studios’ website ( Attendees can also obtain a map at Overture Center, all participating art studio locations and most Madison area libraries.


Read associate editor Katie Vaughn's profile on Tom Linfield from Madison Magazine's October issue here.

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