The Naples Open Studio Trail

Kurt Carlson is blowing with a soffietta to form a bottle.

Naples is home to a diverse and talented group of artists, and the Naples Open Studio Trail allows members of the public to see and learn about their work in the most intimate settings. On Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, natives and visitors to the area will be allowed into the home-based studios of 22 artists and craftsmen to watch the creative process and ask questions. The event’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and all artists are required to be in their studios during those times.
“People love watching the artists create their work,” said Lynda Carlson of Carlson Glassworks Studios. Lynda and her husband, Kurt, have been participating in the trail since it first started six years ago. “Kurt hot sculpts molten glass from the furnace into a face for the demonstration. People enjoy that.”

Trail-goers may want to begin at the South Bristol Cultural Center in Canandaigua. Here they can pick up a brochure map and stop into the Susanne Kennedy Gallery and Gift Shop to preview artists’ work or make a purchase. Trail maps are also available at area stores, restaurants and B & Bs, or people can simply follow the signs directing them to the next studio.

Natives and visitors to the area can progress along the trail at their own pace, enjoying the fall foliage along the way. While viewing the live demonstrations at each studio, members of the public can talk to the artists and ask questions. They will also have a chance to purchase one-of-a-kind art pieces.

“We are a diverse group, yet we maintain a common goal,” Lynda said. “We want to encourage tourism in the Finger Lakes by providing a unique opportunity for people to get a glimpse into the creative process.” Those who participate in the trail also hope to expand the public’s understanding of artists’ roles in both the local community and the world.

Carl and Mellissa Neubauer – New to the trail this year, the married couple creates their sculptures individually.

Brent Gillette – Also new to the trail, this signmaker uses neon, wood, metal paint and gold leaf for his work.

Ben Bennett of Blue Heron Glassworks – A glass blower whose work includes Christmas ornaments, perfume bottles, vases and other colorful glass pieces.

Stephanie Marshall – A long-time member of the trail, Stephanie combines her love of ceramics with her love of Chinese paintings to create pottery that is beautiful as well as functional.

Carol Battle of Falling Waters Studios – One of the original founders of the trail, Carol’s studio in the Naples hillside is a source of inspiration for her watercolor paintings.

Kurt and Lynda Carlson of Carlson Glassworks Studios – This husband-and-wife team create contemporary and elegant glass sculptures through a collaborative effort.

Albie Alliet of Grape Moments Studios – His paintings, both traditional and contemporary, depict everything from seascapes and sailing ships to rustic European villages and old lighthouses.

John Dodd – A studio furniture designer whose contemporary pieces enhance residential and commercial spaces.

Charlie Kingsley – A glass blower and sculptor, Charlie creates colorful and whimsical yard ornaments.

Kit Corti – Her drawings and paintings abound with color, texture and emotion.

Suzanne Larysz, owner of S&G Imaging – Her graphic designs and photography depict her trips around the world.

Rebecca Congdon – New to the trail, Becky is a professionally trained glass lampworker. Each piece of glass is handmade, and then she anneals, cleans and assembles it into her designs.

Jo Krajci of Me and My Shadow Studio – With simple materials such as paper, pencil, scissors, a craft knife and glue, Jo has perfected the art of traditional Chinese papercutting.

Paul and Suzanne Frazer of Frazer Studios – Together they have been creating ceramic sculpture and pottery for over 20 years.

Patrick Smith, owner of West Hollow Boat Company – He builds, repairs and restores traditional cedar-canvas canoes using carefully selected trees.

Lacey Kotlik – Her oil paintings and woodcut prints are influenced by the lights and shadows of the natural world.

Jeanette Klute of Woodland Studios – Her photographs and paintings display her vision of the natural world. Jeanette is best known for perfecting the process of dye transfer to enhance the vibrancy of color in photographs.

Peter Secrest – His hand blown glass creations include vases, vessels and bowls.

Bob Fladd of Fladd’s Creative Stone – Bob’s stone and wood creations include sculptures, fireplaces, chimneys, walkways, benches, steps and pillars.

Paul Willsea and Carol O’Brien of Willsea O’Brien Glass Studios – Paul and Carol combine blown and cast glass to create classic contemporary bowls, vases and platters.

Darryl Abraham of Abraham Studios – He uses his sculpture and illustrations to portray the “unsung heroes” of rural America.

To learn more about the trail, visit

by Stacy Majewicz

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