Opening artistic doors

Doris Cultraro of DC Studios in Rhinebeck is literally getting the lead out to prepare for Labor Day weekend.

She is the organizer of — and one of the 17 artists participating in — the sixth annual Art Studio Views (ASV) Tour, and she wants to make sure her beautiful stained glass pieces are ready to show anyone who drops by her studio on Winston Drive between 11am and 5pm on Sat., Aug. 31 or Sun., Sept. 1.

Like a number of the other artists who will be opening their private working studios to the public, Doris will offer a hands-on demonstration of the process that transforms inspiration into art.

“The goal of Art Studio Views is to demystify the art process and make it available and accessible to all,” Doris explained. “When visitors meet the actual person creating their masterpiece and engage in conversation, they realize there is a story behind each piece. That conversation can continue, and we want those visitors to contact us year-round for any art-related reason or custom project. That makes it very special.”

A map is available online ( and in the tour brochure distributed throughout the Hudson Valley. Visiting all the artists on the tour leaves a lasting impression of just how much and varied talent is flourishing – maybe even around the corner from where you live. The route of the tour, which is free, extends from the north end of Poughkeepsie to the Village of Tivoli; the studios are all a short distance from Route 9 or Route 9G.

Doris Cultraro demonstrates her work on stained glass in her studio.
Doris Cultraro demonstrates her work on stained glass in her studio.

This year, visitors will be offered insight into painting, photography, sculpture, illustration, ceramics, serigraphy, stained glass, or printmaking. Todd Young is a wood artisan in Rhinebeck, yet another example of how the Hudson Valley provides not only inspiration but the actual materials at the artists’ fingertips.

“Working with wood is a true passion of mine,” Todd said. “I have always been fascinated with the different colors, grains, and textures, and making then come alive in the workpiece. It is wonderful to be part of the ASV tour again this year, offering a glimpse inside my studio, and hopefully inspiring future artists!”

The increasing success and popularity of the ASV Tour since its inception in 2008 is reflected by generous community support. Rhinebeck Bank has been the presenting sponsor every year, and on Aug. 15, the bank hosted a “kickoff party” at its Rhinebeck branch, where the public met the artists and got a preview of their art in the ASV exhibit, which will be on display until the end of September. On Aug. 18, the organizers of the Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market invited ASV members to set up a table and promote the tour for the day.

While is it worth noting that similar tours of artists’ studios are gaining popularity – everywhere from nearby Saugerties and Kingston to London and Paris — the ASV Tour in northern Dutchess County may have a unique distinction: in just the last two years, some of the participating artists have been responsible for the creation of two successful galleries. In 2011, the Red Hook Community Arts Network started as a “pop-up” gallery and now comprises a permanent gallery plus art studios at 7516 North Broadway. The Artists’ Collective of Hyde Park is celebrating its first anniversary in its spacious location at 4338 Albany Post Road (Route 9). Both locations are ASV “headquarter locations” – as is the Betsy Jacaruso Studio and Gallery in Rhinebeck — and should be considered as additional stops to view the current exhibits, making your tour even more enjoyable and rewarding.

“Art can relate to a special milestone in peoples’ lives, especially when it’s custom-made,” Doris said. “It can grow into a lifelong relationship with an artist. Whether people use art to commemorate a special event or just acquire something wonderful because it means something to them, it’s very personal and has deep meaning for the artist and the buyer.”

Art Studio Views Tour
Sat., Aug. 31 and Sun., Sept. 1
11am-5pm All studio and gallery locations are on map/brochure online

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