“The landscape here seems to nourish creative energy. At the end of the 19th century artists were drawn to the area by its bracing scenery and the inspiration of Mount Monadnock. They cultivated a unique community centered on the arts, and today we strive to follow their example.” Joe Caracappa, Chair of the Monadnock Art Studio Tour board.
Over the years, Monadnock Art has produced and sponsored a variety of programs, notably the Annual Open Studio Art Tour in early October, which is in its 23rd year. On this weekend more than 50 artists in the towns around Mount Monadnock open their studios to the public. The Tour itself is free, and many artists offer work for sale specially priced for this event. This is the largest art tour in New Hampshire and attracts many hundreds of visitors each year to the Monadnock region. This year, the tour will include 67 artists.
Please tell us a little bit about the history of the Monadnock Art Studio Tour (MAST).
Monadnock Art/ Friends of the Dublin Art Colony (MA/FDAC) is a non-profit organization with a mission of celebrating the presence of the visual arts in the Monadnock Region of southwestern New Hampshire, from the artists who gathered in and near Dublin at the turn of the 19th century (such as Abbot Thayer, Frank Benson, George de Forest Brush, Joseph Lindon Smith, William Preston Phelps, Martha Silsbee, Rockwell Kent) to the hundreds of artists who live and work throughout the region today.
Monadnock Art is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to connect people who are interested in art with people who make art, and to educate all on the rich heritage of the visual arts in the Monadnock region. This is done by promoting artists through our website and social media, enabling a gallery showing which brings together all participating artists into one extended show (held for the month of October at the Sharon Arts Center) and conducting an annual three-day studio art tour during each Columbus Weekend. The organization has approximately 150 members, mostly local artists. Its member artists include virtually every discipline of visual arts, including painters, potters, printmakers, woodworkers, glass artists, jewelry artists, fabric artists, and more.
What is the MAST’s vision for arts in the region and the state of NH? How will the MAST work to make that happen?
MA/FDAC’s activities are a major force in generating awareness and interest in the area’s artists and art culture. The month-long gallery tour and three-day studio tour create an opportunity for artists to sell their work and often represent an important portion of an artist’s annual income. The art tour is also a major draw for tourism during each Columbus Day weekend, attracting loyal and new visitors from all over the US.
The primary goal of the MA/FDAC is to increase the awareness and interest in the work of our member artists. This will be evidenced in increased visitor traffic to see the artists work in studio or online (as measured by visitor traffic) and to increase interest in the annual art tour from areas outside the Monadnock region, including the Boston, Connecticut and New York markets. The second major goal of MA/FDAC is to increase non-artist membership in the organization. This will increase year long interest in the work of our artists, as well as provide an ongoing boost in funding for the organization.
The funding that MAST/FDAC receives from members and donors is used to promote the annual art tour and the ongoing work of the members artists. This is done by expanding our promotional reach throughout the region and growing our online impact through our website and other social media platforms.
One way to get a fast exposure to all our art tour artists is to visit the Sharon Arts Center Galleries in downtown Peterborough during the month of October. Work from virtually all the art tour artists will be on display from October 3rd through the 28th. It is also an excellent place to start the art tour as it will help you decide which artists you would like to visit during the tour.