Artists in Central Florida are opening their private working studios to visitors for the annual “Off the Beaten Path” Florida Arts Tour.

Every year, art patrons, collectors and curators, as well as families and children, are welcomed into the studios to meet the artists in their work environments. There they watch demonstrations, enjoy light refreshments, and shop for unique original works of art. The varied types of offerings include paintings, sculptures, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, woodworks, photography, printmaking, and illustrations.

This year, the Off the Beaten Path tours boast a new website application allowing studio visitors to browse lists of artists and follow easy interactive maps on their phones from tour stop to stop.

The application allows visitors to enjoy a self-guided tour of each location and also features listings of each studio, with artist information. It’s compatible with smartphones to allow easy navigation on the road.

The West Volusia tour will take place Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22 – 23, and features locations in the Greater DeLand area. The Orange County tour takes place March 14 –15, and showcases Orlando-area artist locations, and the Lake County tour will take place April 4 – 5, and includes studios in Eustis, Leesburg, Mount Dora and surrounding towns. A number of cultural institutions such as museums will be open to the public during the hours of the tour as well.

“The tours have been growing rapidly in popularity every year,” said artist John Wilton, a spokesman for the event. “This year, we have added Orlando-area studios to the tours, and people really seem to enjoy getting out, exploring, and discovering new ideas.”

All studios on the tours will be open for all ages, free of charge, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on their specified days.

To learn more about the artist studio tours or the website application, visit ArtsTours.org.

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