By Heather Wicke
Special to the Rappahannock News
This year’s visitors to the 14th Annual Fall Art Tour will be greeted at Tour Headquarters with a banner urging them to “Explore, Discover, and Experience.”
These are appropriate words to describe the multidimensional offerings of this year’s event featuring 33 unique studios and 11 galleries spread across Rappahannock County.
Explore — There are many scenic roads to travel to intriguing studio and gallery destinations and singular worlds of creative fine arts to explore. It’s always a surprising and satisfying treasure hunt. Guests will mark their maps at the Headquarters Gallery (historic Washington School, 567 Mt. Salem Ave.) with the locations where they want to spend their time and set off on their explorations. Early forecasts indicate fair weather for this peak autumn experience.
Discover — Opportunities for discovery abound, whether it’s returning to a favorite artist’s studio to see new work, watching a demonstration of painting, glass-blowing, metal forging, print-making, stained glass-making or talking with artists about their creative process and what inspires them. Gasps of surprise are often heard from those walking into the Headquarters Gallery to see the stunning display of art representing the diverse works of more than 100 participating artists. The personal nature of a self-guided Tour allows each visitor to seek out those artists and locations that appeal to them the most. This year, visitors will also discover remarkable murals created by students at Rappahannock’s Elementary and High Schools, Wakefield Country Day School, Belle Meade School, and the seniors at the Rappahannock Senior Center.
Experience — While fine artwork is the focus of the Tour, an unprecedented effort has been undertaken by organizers to enhance our visitors’ entire experience. Through a collaboration with the Artisan Trail, local businesses, and school and community groups, quick dining and food trucks will be available. Also handy: Maps with the location of guest services, hot drinks and baked goods at Tour Headquarters, and additional information provided by volunteer docents. The new website, www.FallArtTour.org, encourages visitors to plan ahead for their trip. All of these offerings will contribute to the comfort of guests and their ability to shape their own experience and fully enjoy their adventure travel in Rappahannock County.
Finally, the Fall Art Tour channels all net proceeds and contributions into RAAC’s Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund which provides grants to local artists and organizations. The creative circle continues!