Hidden Studios Art Tour offers new way to stay connected during COVID

By Patrick Lynn

Hidden Studios Art Tour plans to offer a new way to stay connected with art lovers during this year’s 17th annual event.

This year’s tour will take place virtually from Oct. 2-4.

In a typical year, multiple studios across Central Wisconsin would open their doors for guests, art-lovers, and customers, to meet with studio owners and guest artists. To avoid the spread of COVID-19, the entire event has been moved online.

This year’s event features 17 artists in seven studios. Artists are: Curtis Archer (sculpture), Pamela Bronk (leather handbags), Neil Estrick (ceramics), Jessie Frtisch (encaustics), Sharon Fujimoto (glass), Mike Jagielo (wood), Joseph Kaftan (glass mosaics), Paul Klein (wood), Pat Kroth (fiber), James McKnight (watercolor), Carolina Niebres (ceramics), Mary Lee Reineking (mixed media), Kristin Thielking and Keven Brunett (glass), Jon Walton (photography), and Kim Wilson (jewelry).

Live artist demos and meet & greet events will be held on Facebook, Instagram, and Zoom. Pre-filmed studio tours will also be available on YouTube and Hidden Studios Art Tour’s website, along with an online marketplace.

“Having to find a plan B, C, or even D is nothing new in an artist’s creative process,” said Paul Klein, a member of the tour’s steering committee. “This year, we will adapt and find new plans to share our work and highlight this close-knit, unique, and beautiful Central Wisconsin community.”

The mission of Hidden Studios Art Tour is to create a public art event of high quality and artistic diversity, Klein said. The goal is to provide “personal one-on-one opportunities for visitors to buy fine art, ask questions, and see where and how work is created.”

Each year, this weekend becomes an art destination in central Wisconsin centered around the Ice Age Trail, drawing people to the area in order to expand cultural and economic benefits for the surrounding communities.

More information can be found on the Hidden Studios Art Tour Facebook page