By Heather Wicke
Special to the Rappahannock News
The first weekend in November will once again bring visitors from near and far to Rappahannock County to enjoy the works of our diverse and accomplished artists and the beautiful Blue Ridge countryside.
This year’s 13th annual Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour on Nov. 4-5 promises to be the largest yet, with more artists in open studios, interactive opportunities and a greater variety of fine art than ever before. More than 100 local artists will be displaying their works in 30 studios and eight galleries.
The large and growing numbers of exceptional artists choosing to make their home here and join the annual tour is not by chance. They are drawn to and inspired by the natural beauty and the strong sense of community nurtured by the nonprofit Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC), sponsors of the annual event (and many other year-long programs). In 2004, RAAC members wanting to support the local arts community came up with the idea of a studio and gallery tour to draw a larger audience from the regional and D.C. metro areas.
Each year, the event has added new local artists wanting to open their studios and participate along with returning artists. Information about these exceptional artists and photos of their artwork may be viewed on RAAC’s website at raac.org, where there are links to tour information and individual artists’ sites. In addition, the tour’s Facebook page is at facebook.com/studioandgallerytour.
This event would not be possible without the generous contributions of sponsors, members and volunteers throughout the county. This community support enables RAAC to create and promote an event worthy of Rappahannock’s fine artists. All tour profits return to the community in the form of annual Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund grants supporting artistic endeavors throughout the year.
The self-guided tour begins at Washington School, 567 Mt. Salem Ave., with a impressive central gallery displaying representative artworks. For a $10 admission fee, visitors tour guide and map with detailed directions. Guests also receive information on artists’ demonstrations, food and drink options and other local services. If the crowd of visitors approaches last year’s count of more than 1,400, there will be lots of enthusiastic tour-goers here to enjoy some of the most remarkable offerings of the county.
For more on the Nov. 4-5 event, visit raac.org/raacwp/2017-art-tour.