Nobody needs a mall or the Internet to go holiday or gift shopping. Almost every weekend through Dec. 6, artists throughout the state will open the doors of their studios and welcome the public in to stay awhile, chat and perhaps buy an original work of art: a painting, a sculpture, a piece of jewelry, a collage, a print, wearable art. Here's the schedule:
Art Around The West End
The season kicks off Sept. 25 to 27 with Art Around the West End, a focus on artists who live and work on the west side of Hartford. The weekend will open with a meet-the-artists reception at the Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Ave., on Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. That event will include a group exhibit. The creators will be in their own spaces Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to individual artists, some galleries will be open during the event, including Ducks on the Ave Bowling Alley, 572 Farmington Ave.; Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman St.; Passages Gallery, 509 Farmington Ave.; Tangiers International Market, 550 Farmington Ave.; and Venom Vintage, 11 Whitney St.
Find a full list of artists and a map at artaroundthewestend.com.
Citywide Open Studios
New Haven's vibrant artist community will spread out its open studios event over four weekends in October and November. The opening reception will be Oct. 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Artspace, 50 Orange St. in New Haven, featuring one work from each participating artist. The event coincides with First Friday on Ninth Square and the L.A.M.P festival of illumination. That space also will be open Oct. 3 from noon to 8 p.m., and Oct. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. Subsequent weekend shows will be held at the Goffe Street Armory, 290 Goffe St., starting Oct. 10 and 11 from noon to 6 p.m. each day. That weekend showcases artists from outside New Haven. Transported Weekend, Oct. 17 and 18 from noon to 6 p.m., features artists in their own studios. Oct. 24 and 25, from noon to 6 p.m., will focus on the big Erector Square artists-studio complex at 315 Peck St. Find a complete list of artists and locations and a map and other details at cwos.org.
Loft Artists Association
The Loft Artists Association, a lively group of creative talents based at 575 Pacific St. in Stamford, will hold its Open Studios Oct. 16-18. A reception will open the weekend on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. More than 40 artists will welcome visitors to their studios Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Details: loftartists.com.
Bridgeport Art Trail
The 7th annual Bridgeport Art Trail, with a headquarters at the City Lights Gallery, 37 Markle Court, will be celebrated Nov. 12-15. A happy hour at the Read's Ground Floor Gallery, 1042 Broad St., on Nov. 12 will be accompanied by a mini art trail in a three-block radius around the gallery. The event spreads out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with locations throughout the city, including Read's; the American Fabrics Building of Art & Design, 1069 Connecticut Ave.; the NEST Arts Factory, 1720 Fairfield Ave.; the Innovation Center, 955 Connecticut Ave; and 305 Knowlton St. For details and locations: bridgeport-art-trail.org.
Open Studio Hartford
The annual art extravaganza Open Studio Hartford will open on Nov. 5 with a group show and reception at ArtSpace, 555 Asylum St., from 6 to 8 p.m., and a poetry, music and dance performance called Ekphrasis on Nov. 7 from 2 to 4 p.m., also at ArtSpace. The actual open studios will be Nov. 14 and 15 at 24 locations, including the Connecticut Historical Society, One Elizabeth St.; Arbor Arts Center at 56 Arbor St.; the Dirt Salon, 50 Bartholomew Ave.; the huge artist studio complex at Colt Gateway, 140 Huyshope Ave.; ArtSpace; the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St.; Union Station Great Hall, five locations on Pratt Street; and other art spaces. Full list: openstudiohartford.com.
Shoreline Arts Trail
The 14th annual Shoreline Arts Trail is a multitown event, featuring 31 artists in Madison, Guilford and Branford, Nov. 21 and 22. Artists working in cut paper, fiber, found objects, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paint, photography, pottery, print making, sculpture and textiles will be featured. Find details, including a map, at shorelineartstrail.com.
Even more spread out than the Shoreline Arts Trail is the Artists' Open Studios of Northeast Connecticut, which includes from 90 to 100 artists in towns in the Quiet Corner: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Columbia, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Lebanon, Mansfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Stafford, Thompson, Tolland, Willington, Windham and Woodstock. That's a lot of driving and a lot to take in, so they've scheduled two weekends, Nov. 27, 28 and 29 and Dec. 5 and 6. aosct.org.