Nov 20, 2013
02:04 PM
Arts & Entertainment

Connecticut Shoreline Arts Trail Weekend: 34 Studios, 47 Artists, Shopping, Dining Discounts ...

Connecticut Shoreline Arts Trail Weekend: 34 Studios, 47 Artists, Shopping, Dining Discounts ...

In psychology, there’s something called confirmation bias, which, at its most basic level, involves a phenomenon that has us view information—and see the world—in ways that confirm our pre-existing perceptions or biases.

In a colloquial version most of us experience seasonally and daily, we react in both straightforward and more complex ways to the weather forecast. Nice days tend to stoke our ambitions, or expectations, while inclement weather prompts us to ratchet down plans and keep close to home—a forecast like the one for this weekend, for example, when Saturday is expected to hit 50 degrees but be dampened by rain, and Sunday will feel like real winter with a temperature only reaching the mid 30’s.

But the heartier and more adventuresome souls among us take every type of weather as an invitation of some sort, and there’s an entire breed of free-thinkers who know the truth of the matter.

It's that clouds, rain, cold, snow and even winter’s foreshortened afternoons are actually inspiration to venture forth and liver a bit larger—because if you do that, the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment to be reaped once you return home and look back out on the forbidding landscape are immense, their proportions heighted in an almost mathematical ratio that relates challenge (how bad the weather was) and gain to produce an emotional reward quotient. (Above, a model wearing a piece by textile artist Owen Sea Luckey.)

So what’s all of that have to do with The Shoreline ArtsTrail taking place this Saturday and Sunday Nov. 23 and 24, when a community of 47 local artists will participate in a 12th annual Open Studios Weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day?

Well, the forecast for the weekend at this point doesn’t look lovely, which means those who love art, artisans, jewelry and more—and those who want to start shopping early for creative, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts—might have summon a little will to overcome less-than-ideal-weather confirmation bias, in order to hit the art trail and end up feeling very fulfilled on either Saturday or Sunday evening.

“This is a great chance to meet the artists, explore their studios, see amazing art and find something beautiful to take home,” Jen Payne, the public relations coordinator for The Shoreline ArtsTrail, said in a release on the two-day event that features 34 open studios Branford, Guilford and Madison—some of the most lifestyle-friendly locales in Connecticut.

And to spice up the appeal of the Open Studios Weekend, a group of Lodge & Dine Partners will offer ArtsTrail visitors discounts on food, beverages and overnight stays.

Meanwhile, the main attraction is the artists, their studios and their work. The ArtsTrail is a juried event, and “you’ll see different styles of art and new work by participating artists in more than 15 different mediums,” the release says, explaining that participants will be presenting works in calligraphy, cut paper, fiber, found objects, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paint, photography, pottery, print making, sculpture, textiles and more.

Open Studios Weekend is free and open to the public. It’s purposefully scheduled before Thanksgiving to offer a head start on holiday shopping.

As for the artists, “in Branford this year, we welcome new ArtsTrail member Corina Alvarezdelugo a mixed media painter and sculptor (whose work is shown above),” the release says. “Returning are member artists Terry Bogan, Richard Carleton, Lisa Carlin, Christine Chiocchio, Eileen Clark, Jayne Crowley, Margaret B. Dean, David Frank, Jinny Goggin, Sharon Hosley, Owen Sea Luckey, Ray Mathews, Molly McDonald, Kristin Merrill, Jane Strauss Novick, Scott Paterson, Diana Perron, Leslie Prodis, Pat Rist, Maureen Squires, Martha Link Walsh, Sid Werthan, and Maureen Wilkinson.

“In Guilford, watercolor painter Steve Plaziak joins the ArtsTrail for the first time. And we’re pleased to welcome back artists Alice Chittenden, Vivika Hansen Denegre, Laurie Douglas, Eileen Eder, Carol Grave, B. Joan Hickey, Phyllis Lynch, Jackie McGuire, Barbara Shulman-Kirwin, Marjorie Sopkin, Sandra Spahr, Catherine Steinberg, G. Scott Tabar, Linda Knudsen Westgard, and Diane Wright.

“Painter Melissa Imossi and fiber artist Dayna Mankowski join our growing list of Madison artists that also includes Anita K. Griffith, Peter Indorf, Stuart Alan Lerner, Laura Lyons, and Robert Parrott.”

During Open Studios Weekend, distinctive yellow “Open Studio” signs point visitors to all of these artists and studios. Participants can see the map of open studios on the ArtsTrail website (also shown below), and can pick up a copy of the Shoreline ArtsTrail map in libraries, town halls, Connecticut welcome centers, and visitors’ centers in Branford, Guilford and Madison, as well as at the Guilford Art Center and the various studios.

For more information and all the details for participating, visit

View Shoreline Arts Trail 2013 in a larger map

The Shoreline ArtsTrail was initiated in 2002 by a small group of artists in Branford, Guilford and Madison, the release on the Open Studios Weekend says. It remains a volunteer organization, coordinated by its member artists who collaborate to present the Open Studios Weekend and to promote each other throughout the year.

The Community Sponsors, who support the year-long efforts to promote the Shoreline ArtsTrail, include: Friends & Company (Madison), Guilford Art Center (Guilford), Home Restaurant (Branford), Luckey Re-Do, LLC (Branford), MIX Design Store (Guilford), Penumbra Photographs (Edgartown, MA), Peter Indorf (Madison), Tidewater Inn (Madison), Tommy Sullivan’s (Branford), Wall Street Gallery (Madison), and Words by Jen (Branford).


Connecticut Shoreline Arts Trail Weekend: 34 Studios, 47 Artists, Shopping, Dining Discounts ...

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