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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great way to spend a beautiful October Sunday

The Octagon House in Carolina Village
HopArts runs for one more day
By Will Collette

The 6th Annual "HopArts Studio Trail" runs for one more day on Sunday. I spent most of today on the HopArts trail and strongly recommend that you check it out - and bring your checkbook, because there is a lot of choice material still available for sale.

We've done the HopArts trail before, and always enjoyed them, but this year is great. We started in Carolina, where there are four stops on the map. This includes the wonderful Octagon House, now the site of the Carolina Fiber and Fiction Center. I've been curious about the Octagon House for years and finally got to see the inside. And the weaving and fabric art are fantastic.And nearby is the Green Gallery which was a must-do stop for us because we're big fans of Daniel Read's art glass.

Example of Daniel Read's art glass
There are a total of 17 stops along the well-designed map. Most stops feature more than one artist. For example at the Shaw Gallery, you can see Susan Shaw's stunning paintings, fine fabric art, wood-turning, jewelry, glass and sculpture.

Many of the stops are clustered, like the four in Carolina and nine along a short stretch of Route 3 in Hope Valley. The Hope Valley artists include one of my favorites, Rick Devlin's studio. I love his outrageous and wickedly creative figurines especially.

The Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum up in Arcadia is the most remote of the stops, but it's great. The museum is open and the admission is free. In the gallery, there are several artists - we especially love the work of Narragansett Indian Allen Hazard using traditional quahog shell wampum. They also feature the beautiful pottery of Brenda Hill that combines traditional Indian pottery, wampum inlay and a modern flair.

Example of Brenda Hill's wampum inlay
There is no charge to visit any of the sites on the tour. Cathy and I have never been able to do all of the artists - just not enough time to take it all in - so it is a good idea to make a plan. Check the HopArts website. Download and print the map and artist index and look at the artists' biographies. Most of those bios include a photo of a sample of their work. Be sure to pick up the tour brochure at one of the early stops.

All the stops were fun. The artists are friendly and love to talk about their work. At most of the stops, you'll be offered cider, cookies or muffins. Today was gorgeous and Sunday should be pretty nice too.