Open Doors features NH artisans

Many people who live in New Hampshire know the state has a burgeoning arts community.

Thousands of artists toil in their studio every day, producing a bewildering array of arts, crafts and quality foods.

The work of these artisans will be celebrated Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 8-9, during NH Open Doors. Members of the public will be given a rare chance to see the creative geniuses at work, discuss their inspirations and techniques, and buy some locally produced artwork just in time for the holiday season.

“This is a really big event,” said Elaine Farmer, owner of White Birch Fine Art Studio in Amherst. “Originally, it started as a program hosted by the New England League of Craftsmen; then they started collaborating with another group, NH Made, and created NH Open Doors.

“Basically, this is a statewide event, sort of like a pub crawl, for lack of better terminology. I would call it an artisan crawl, really.”

Farmer said the list of artisans is extensive and encompasses a wide range of disciplines.

“There’s everything from candlemakers to fine art, and everything in between,” she said, “including farmers, cheesemakers and alpaca farmers. Really, it’s all-inclusive, involving anything made in New Hampshire.”

White Birch Fine Art Studio, 20 Brook Road, will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days. In addition to the artwork of Elaine Farmer, items will include wood bowls by Bernie Rozmovits, of Milford; stained glass creations by Carol and Michael Domingue, of Hancock; and mosaics by Linda Jarousky.

Farmer will also have her book “Harmonious Color Schemes: A No-Nonsense Approach Using the Color Wheel” available for purchase at a discount, with a book-signing option.

Visitors also will be encouraged to paint on a collaborative painting at the studio.

Farmer sees hopeful signs within the arts community that might indicate a general turnaround in the economy.

“I know a number of fine artists who are actually participating this year, having backed off in the past,” she said. “I hope that’s a sign of a change of events as far as the economy is concerned, and the artists are feeling that the market is there for them to do that.

“Additionally, those artists who do not have studios of their own are collaborating with those that do, so the range of exposure is that much higher.”

Other collaborating artists can be found at East Colony Fine Art Gallery, 55 South Commercial St., Manchester.

Visitors can buy items made in New Hampshire, talk with artists and craftspeople, sample fresh products from farm stands and orchards, and savor fine cuisine and wine at local restaurants.

Activities will include craft demonstrations and workshops, horse-and-buggy rides and food samplings.

“I’m actually a part of the East Colony Fine Arts Gallery, as well,” Farmer said, “and I would like to think that it was partly due to my encouragement that they came onboard.”

The tour is self-guided, so visitors can create their own driving routes and visit the participants and locations that interest them. To help visitors plan their self-guided tour, the NH Open Doors website, www.nhopendoors.com, features an interactive map listing participants by region. Each listing will describe what each participant will be offering and a custom-designed Google map showing the location of each participant with detailed driving directions.

The website also features recommended itineraries suggested by NH Open Doors participants that highlight different areas of the state.

The NH Open Doors Passport Contest provides visitors with another reason to take the tour: They can win great prizes. Visitors can download a passport from the NH Open Doors website to take with them on their tours. Participants who visit 10 NH Open Doors locations and have the passport signed will be entered to win free lodging, gift certificates, gift baskets, fine crafts and more.

NH Open Doors is managed by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (www.nhcrafts.org) with promotional assistance from numerous art, craft and business organizations throughout the state.

“This is a great way to kick off the Christmas shopping season,” Farmer said. “People can buy New Hampshire products and support the local arts and the local economy.

“I think that sometimes people are intimidated by the idea of visiting a studio, as this is our workplace. This takes it totally out of that sphere and creates a welcoming atmosphere where the community can really connect with the artists and see what is going on right in their own neighborhood.”

Open Doors features NH artisans

Many people who live in New Hampshire know the state has a burgeoning arts community.

Thousands of artists toil in their studio every day, producing a bewildering array of arts, crafts and quality foods.

The work of these artisans will be celebrated Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 8-9, during NH Open Doors. Members of the public will be given a rare chance to see the creative geniuses at work, discuss their inspirations and techniques, and buy some locally produced artwork just in time for the holiday season.

“This is a really big event,” said Elaine Farmer, owner of White Birch Fine Art Studio in Amherst. “Originally, it started as a program hosted by the New England League of Craftsmen; then they started collaborating with another group, NH Made, and created NH Open Doors.

“Basically, this is a statewide event, sort of like a pub crawl, for lack of better terminology. I would call it an artisan crawl, really.”

Farmer said the list of artisans is extensive and encompasses a wide range of disciplines.

“There’s everything from candlemakers to fine art, and everything in between,” she said, “including farmers, cheesemakers and alpaca farmers. Really, it’s all-inclusive, involving anything made in New Hampshire.”

White Birch Fine Art Studio, 20 Brook Road, will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days. In addition to the artwork of Elaine Farmer, items will include wood bowls by Bernie Rozmovits, of Milford; stained glass creations by Carol and Michael Domingue, of Hancock; and mosaics by Linda Jarousky.

Farmer will also have her book “Harmonious Color Schemes: A No-Nonsense Approach Using the Color Wheel” available for purchase at a discount, with a book-signing option.

Visitors also will be encouraged to paint on a collaborative painting at the studio.

Farmer sees hopeful signs within the arts community that might indicate a general turnaround in the economy.

“I know a number of fine artists who are actually participating this year, having backed off in the past,” she said. “I hope that’s a sign of a change of events as far as the economy is concerned, and the artists are feeling that the market is there for them to do that.

“Additionally, those artists who do not have studios of their own are collaborating with those that do, so the range of exposure is that much higher.”

Other collaborating artists can be found at East Colony Fine Art Gallery, 55 South Commercial St., Manchester.

Visitors can buy items made in New Hampshire, talk with artists and craftspeople, sample fresh products from farm stands and orchards, and savor fine cuisine and wine at local restaurants.

Activities will include craft demonstrations and workshops, horse-and-buggy rides and food samplings.

“I’m actually a part of the East Colony Fine Arts Gallery, as well,” Farmer said, “and I would like to think that it was partly due to my encouragement that they came onboard.”

The tour is self-guided, so visitors can create their own driving routes and visit the participants and locations that interest them. To help visitors plan their self-guided tour, the NH Open Doors website, www.nhopendoors.com, features an interactive map listing participants by region. Each listing will describe what each participant will be offering and a custom-designed Google map showing the location of each participant with detailed driving directions.

The website also features recommended itineraries suggested by NH Open Doors participants that highlight different areas of the state.

The NH Open Doors Passport Contest provides visitors with another reason to take the tour: They can win great prizes. Visitors can download a passport from the NH Open Doors website to take with them on their tours. Participants who visit 10 NH Open Doors locations and have the passport signed will be entered to win free lodging, gift certificates, gift baskets, fine crafts and more.

NH Open Doors is managed by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (www.nhcrafts.org) with promotional assistance from numerous art, craft and business organizations throughout the state.

“This is a great way to kick off the Christmas shopping season,” Farmer said. “People can buy New Hampshire products and support the local arts and the local economy.

“I think that sometimes people are intimidated by the idea of visiting a studio, as this is our workplace. This takes it totally out of that sphere and creates a welcoming atmosphere where the community can really connect with the artists and see what is going on right in their own neighborhood.”