Art lovers flock to the Southcoast for open studio tour
Art lovers from around the state made their way to Dartmouth on Saturday and Sunday to visit local artists who opened their workshops to the public as part of the South Coast Artists Open Studio Tours.
The tour, which will return next month on Aug. 20 and 21, featured about 60 artists located between Little Compton, R.I. and Dartmouth. 15 of the artists were located in Dartmouth.
One of the Dartmouth artists was Jane Bregoli, whose works ranged from oil paintings to ceramics and etchings.
“I have ADHD, so that’s why I do everything,” she said with a chuckle. “I like doing different things. It keeps life interesting.”
Much of Bregoli’s work was inspired by the world around her, like bowls imprinted with leaves and paintings of livestock like pigs and chickens.
One of her favorite subjects was “The Goat Lady,” a friend of Bregoli’s who kept goats because she found that drinking their milk helped ease her arthritis.
Bregoli said she met the Goat Lady while working to get her master’s degree in art from UMass Dartmouth when she would often do paintings of the woman and her goats.
After she graduated, Bregoli even wrote a book about the woman and their time together.
At another stop on the tour, two artists, Kim Barry of Mattapoisett and Genevieve Hunt of Dartmouth, set up at the same location.
Barry’s work includes colorful, impressionistic oil paintings of local landscapes as well as clay tiles featuring flora and fauna.
“I like to paint on site,” she said. “I like that energy of the day and trying to get that into the paintings.”
Barry added that the signature style of her paintings is something she has developed with intention.
“I like to use bigger brushes,” she said, adding, “I’m not afraid of color.”
Hunt, meanwhile, works mostly with watercolors, using them to create vibrant seascapes that she also paints on location.
“There are so many wonderful places to paint in Westport and Dartmouth,” she said. “I don’t like to use photographs, they just look really flat.”
Like Barry, Hunt’s paintings are full of bright colors, though they don’t skew as much into impressionism.
“Color is my favorite part,” Hunt said. “There are some watercolor artists that aren’t afraid of the pigment, and I try to be like that.”
Though Hunt’s works show the precision of a practiced hand, she said she only picked up the medium three years ago.
“I don’t have a painting background,” she said, explaining that she went to architecture school and later worked as a metalsmith. “I’m a maker person and I like to do everything.”
Another featured artist was Susan Cabral, a painter who opened the doors to her home studio where she also teaches lessons, though not as often as she did prior to Covid.
Cabral said that since the pandemic started, she has slowed down on teaching and can no longer provide lessons to kids.
“I miss the kids and I miss the hugs, but the adults are wonderful,” she said.
Cabral said that cutting back on lessons has given her more time to spend on her own works, many of which feature seascapes on large canvases.
She said that one of her signatures is meticulously layering and smoothing out her paints until the brush strokes are almost entirely invisible.
“When I have a print made, you can never tell the difference,” she said, explaining that she has to mark her originals so that she doesn’t accidentally sell them as reproductions.
Cabral said that the first weekend of tours had been very successful, drawing in visitors not only from around the state, but around the world.
“I’ve had people from all over,” she said. “I even had one from England.”
The South Coast Artists Open Studio Tours will be back on Aug. 20 and 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For a full list of participating artists and a map of their locations, visit southcoastartists.org/open-studio-tours.