Have you ever been on the Open Studios Tour in Washington County? It’s coming up July 19 - 21, and after the little sneak peek we had this past week, we couldn’t be more excited to venture out on the full tour. Cruising the back roads of the county past beautiful old farmhouses and barns, exploring historic and charming towns, and meeting the most creative, talented, and kind artists - each in their own studio - is an ideal day in our book. Read on for just a small sampling of what you can expect on the self-guided tour, and plan to experience it for yourself in just a couple of short weeks!
The Tour features 15 artists who work across a variety of mediums - painting, clay, sculpture, photography, and more! Below are just a few of the artists who will be featured on the tour, and you can find the full details here.
Gyula Varosy | Greenwich: We were delighted to meet Gyula and his wife Hannie (and their dogs!) at their studio - a restored barn in Greenwich. Trained as an architect, Gyula found himself pursuing art alongside his work in New York City, and moved north with his family in order to focus further on his art. He noted his inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere, but the focus is ultimately on form. Pulling from his background in architecture, his sculpture is a constructive and additive process. And, he joked, much like life - the process is not predictable or linear, and comes with many changes along the way. Don’t leave without taking a stroll on the trail around their property and enjoying the barn, the woods, and the stream!
Jacob Houston | Greenwich: Having just missed Jacob’s show at The Hyde recently, we were doubly thrilled to meet him at his home to view his gorgeous acrylic paintings on display there. Jacob’s paintings are almost like a dream, with vivid colors and intricate details, and we found our eyes being pulled into each corner of the painting to discover more of the story within. His paintings take anywhere from 1.5 months to about 5 months (!) depending on the size, and with that time commitment, it was easy to understand why he has a few favorite originals that he just can’t part with (but you can buy prints here!). We were immediately drawn to the painting of Nubble Light (where Tom proposed!), and loved the whimsical and fun take on such an iconic landmark.
Rebecca Sparks | Shushan: With her studio steps from the Battenkill River (and her beautiful gardens!), it wasn’t hard to see where Rebecca gets her inspiration from. In fact, it was the crows getting together for their morning “coffee chats” on her lawn that inspired her to start creating her ceramic birds (which by the way, start as an “egg” of clay - how fitting!). She’s been working with clay for over 20 years, and it was fun to see the evolution of her creations in her studio - from the slip casting molds to the finished birds, and from the carving to the patterns on her tableware (especially loved her blue glazes!).
Leslie Peck | Greenwich: We’ve long admired Leslie’s gorgeous paintings of the farm animals of Washington County (those cows!), and we were excited to finally see them in person, along with her new series featuring taxidermy subjects. Like many other artists along the tour, Leslie has made her studio in a converted barn behind their home in the village of Greenwich - an area which provides an endless amount of inspiration in the way of farms, barns, and animals. We loved the bold colors in her paintings, along with the life and personality in her subjects. Yes, she does commissions, and we both left knowing we’d love to have her to paint our dogs some day.
Clarence King | Cambridge: As admirers of landscape paintings, we were instant fans of Clarence’s work. We were also instant fans of his 1700’s colonial that he and his wife are restoring room-by-room, but that’s a story for a different day :) Rather than working as a plein air painter, Clarence works from a drawing done on site, along with a photo, and adds paint back in studio - up to 4 thin coats - which helps to give his paintings that vibrance and luminosity that is so striking. The beautiful views and changing seasons of Washington County provide him inspiration, and we love the contrast in colors between his summer landscapes lush with green to the crisp whites of his winter scenes.
Where to Eat + Drink
It wouldn’t be a road trip without stopping for a bite to eat along the way. Even if half of our stops were just for cookies ;) Here’s a few of the many great places to grab a snack or sip…
Greenwich Village Cafe + Bakery | Greenwich: Tucked just off Main Street, we popped into the adorable Village Cafe to grab a few cookies (so good!) as a quick snack. They’ve got the perfect patio to enjoy breakfast or lunch (or cookies!) outside, but we opted to take ours to go as we were eager to get to our next stop. Can’t wait to visit here again to try their breakfast!
Round House Bakery Cafe | Cambridge: Always a favorite stop in Cambridge, this was the perfect spot to grab lunch between artist visits. Reminiscent of an old general store, we love the ambience inside and always gravitate toward the counter to enjoy our sandwiches (our go-to: the Mediterranean). And don’t leave without a cookie - or two! We love the Ginger Spice, and you can never go wrong with their traditional chocolate chip.
Argyle Brewing Co. | Cambridge: Our first time here (and definitely not our last!). We couldn’t get over the uniqueness of the space (an old train depot!), and it was fun to imagine it bustling back in the day - and to see it bustling again as a tasting room! Tom was a big fan of the Hop to It IPA (which came highly recommended from a gentleman at the bar who proclaimed himself the president of the Hop to It fan club! :), and as a big cider fan, I was thrilled to see a couple of local options - Slyboro and Saratoga Apple. The perfect stop for a cold beverage on a hot day.
Gardenworks Cheese + Cafe | Salem: Another favorite of ours, we find our way out to Gardenworks whenever we can - especially in the summer for their Cheese + Cafe! Situated amongst the flowers in front of their gorgeous barn, this was the ideal spot to end the day. We opted for a panini and a slice of quiche (both amazing!), and went with local favorites to sip on - a can of beer from R.S. Taylor and a glass of wine from Victory View Vineyard. Don’t leave before perusing the shop, taking a peek in the barn gallery, and picking some blueberries (they should be ready next week!).
See you on the Tour! Grab all of the details on artists and locations here.
P.S. We just heard about an amazing Farm to Table dinner happening at Lakota’s Farm in Cambridge on Friday, July 19th! Gorgeous setting, local craft beer and cider, and a delicious menu - grab your tickets here before they sell out!
*This post was in partnership with our friends at Washington County NY Tourism. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of our favorite places in the county with you. Thank you for supporting the businesses and organizations that support Glens Falls Living.