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Statewide Vermont studio tour goes virtual this weekend

BRATTLEBORO— For the past 27 Memorial Day Weekends, artists throughout the state have welcomed visitors from across New England and beyond to visit their studios to purchase handmade art and crafts at the source.

This year, in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state, the Vermont Crafts Council has decided to shift to offering a Virtual Spring Open Studio Weekend Tour.

Starting on May 23, visitors to VermontCrafts.com will be able to view photos and videos of participating artists’ work. There will also be a window into a behind-the-scenes look at their studios and creative processes that make the open studio experience unique.

Visitors who would like to see more and make purchases will also find links to the artists’ respective websites and social-media offerings. The videos will be viewable during the traditional weekend span of the tour, but the photos and links will be available through June.

At the time of this writing, three local studios and galleries are set to participate in the virtual tour: Ceramicist Diane Echlin of Newfane and pastel artist Lesley Heathcote of Brattleboro will be listed.

In addition to the online presence, Brattleboro gallery Vermont Artisan Designs is set to open for in-person visits in a limited capacity, with plans to spotlight local artists May 23 and 24. Visit VTArt.com for more information about visiting the gallery.

Heathcote is a member of Brattleboro-West Arts, an organization of dozens of artists and and crafters that typically coordinates and promotes the annual tour locally.

While other BWA members are not participating in the virtual event, profiles of its artists, along with examples of their work and links to their websites, are viewable online as always at Brattleboro-West-Arts.com.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #562 (Wednesday, May 20, 2020).

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