More than 70 painters, ceramists, photographers, printmakers, fiber artists, jewelry makers, glass artists and musical performers will invite the public in this weekend for the 17th annual Amesbury Open Studio Tour, giving visitors a chance to find things in Amesbury they never knew were there.
“It’s going to be a really exciting weekend,” said Carley Monell, co-chairwoman of the Amesbury Cultural Council. “It’s great to see people out just walking the streets in Amesbury, stopping into the various artist studios, and it brings a lot of people downtown, which is very exciting.”
The free, self-guided tour gives people a chance to visit the creative spaces of local craftspeople and to buy local art directly from the source.
“It’s just amazing to see the diversity of art,” said Monell, who is working on her eighth tour. “It’s also a great opportunity to just be inspired. That’s a huge piece of it. I know that I am inspired when I am here, walking through and seeing people creating and the creativity that’s present in the community. It’s just unbelievable.”
At first glance, Amesbury might not seem like an artist’s haven, but Monell said nothing could be further from the truth.
“We’ve seen a huge (influx) of the arts in Amesbury,” she said. “14 Cedar St. didn’t exist when I moved to Amesbury eight years ago. It’s a really cool place, you wouldn’t know because it is a really unassuming mill building from the outside, but you have your traditional artists, your painters, sculptors, media arts, jewelry, and that building is also home to other types of businesses, too.”
Ways of Color owner and stained glass artist Leslie Doherty of Pond Street’s Potlatch Studios & Gallery has been working as an artist in Amesbury for the past 12 years and enjoys letting people into her creative world.