MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Art fairs & studio tours

Art al fresco

When warm weather arrives, art fairs start to pop up everywhere.

We all know what summer means — days at the beach, boat rides, marshmallow roasts . . . and shopping.

Not at malls but under the little white tents that pop up wherever there's a festival, on the shores of lakes, in parks and on picturesque town squares.

That's where the region's most accomplished potters, glass makers, jewelers, painters, weavers and photographers bring out their wares and make themselves available to whoever cares to stop — customers, passersby, admirers.

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Autumn in the studios

On fall art tours, treasure hunters strike gold (and orange and red).

In September and October, artists everywhere throw open their studio doors, inviting the public to see some fall colors along with fine art.

It's tempting because of the scenic landscapes in which so many artists live: the bluffs of northeast Iowa, the coulees of southwest Wisconsin, the towns around Lake Pepin, the lumpy terrain of the Ice Age Trail.

"This is such a pretty area in the fall, and we thought it would be nice to have a tour where people could travel through it,'' says potter Diana Johnston, who helped found southwest Wisconsin's Fall Art Tour, the region's oldest.

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