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A Different Type of Hike

On the heels of my “Take a Hike” online curation, let me tell you a story about a different type of hike. An annual “hike” through Chester County, PA that takes place in May.


In 2015, I began painting again. While I truly enjoyed the path and dual role graphic designer and art teacher, I had this insatiable call back to the easel. So I dusted off my brushes and bought some new ones. Purchased an exciting array of paints and mediums, and various sizes of canvas.


I was all set – so I thought.


Before too long, I realized I needed a bit more. I found myself painting in a vacuum. I missed the collaboration of my earlier art-making years. I needed my people.


Later that year, driving through Chester County in May of 2015, I began seeing these really cool signs popping up all over the county that read “County Studio Tour” along with different numbers on each sign. It sounded intriguing and remember thinking “I would love to tour a few art studios. Let me check this out!”


I went home "googled" Chester County Studio Tour, learned about participating artists, and even found few great maps so I can plan my visit to select studios. The very next day, one of the first studios I visited was in a lovely home studio in Phoenixville. The artists showing their art were so welcoming and interesting. The two artists enthusiastically shared their story and their process. One of encaustic and the other of oil and collage. I was hooked!


Every year since then, I eagerly planned my “hike through Chester County in May.” I would look forward to what art I will find, what people I will meet, and what stories I will hear. And every year, the circle of “my people” expanded. I began exchanging with them stories of my own art, processes, and inspiration.


This is the first year I won’t be taking this hike.


This year I will be one of the storytellers – at Studio 17.


I am honored to be part of this wonderful art community. They are FANTASTIC!