Nov. 4-5: Shop and Connect with local artisans during NH Open Doors Tour

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James Chase Studio in Manchester will be participating in the 2017 Open Doors Tour. Courtesy Photo

CONCORD, NH – The public is invited to connect and engage with the people, products, and places of New Hampshire during NH Open Doors, a statewide touring and shopping event on November 4 and 5. NH Open Doors is an easy-to-navigate self-guided tour offering visitors a rich and diverse cultural experience, free of charge. More than 80 New Hampshire artists, craftsmen, and business owners are presenting special activities, including art and craft demonstrations, product tastings, raffles, and sales. Visitors can shop (tax-free) for locally-made art, food, and other products directly from the makers. Now in its 12 year, NH Open Doors is managed by the League of NH Craftsmen, a statewide organization dedicated to maintaining the state’s creative economy.

Some participating businesses in the Greater Manchester Area include:

  • League of NH Craftsmen (Hooksett)
  • Ann Trainor Domingue Studio (Goffstown)
  • White Birch Fine Art (Amherst)
  • Creative Ventures Gallery (Amherst)
  • M&C Clothing and Gifts (Amherst)
  • The Craftworkers’ Guild (Bedford)
  • Paintings by G.D Thompson (Bedford)
  • Luci Lesmerises, Fine Art (Bedford)
  • Art 3 Gallery (Manchester)
  •  Monte Verde Art Glass Studio (Manchester)
  • James Chase Studio (Manchester)
Barbara McLaughlin, a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen, will be demonstrating her jewelry making technique in her Stratham studio.

During NH Open Doors, the state’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit is on display, letting visitors see artists and craftsmen working in their studios, learn about locally made products, and discover the offerings of small businesses on main streets, large and small. For more information and to access an interactive map, visit nhopendoors.com

“NH Open Doors is an interactive and intimate experience where a visitor can ask, learn and be inspired. We pull back the curtain so people can see the inner workings of an art or craft studio or gallery, a local winery or shop, and talk to the makers and owners about their work and products,” said League of NH Craftsmen Executive Director Miriam Carter. “Another reason people enjoy taking the tour is to shop for holiday gifts that represent New Hampshire. From one-of-a-kind art and craft to locally produced food, wine and spirits, there are many gift options at various price points to choose from.”

Plan a tour using the NH Open Doors interactive map
Visitors can see a list of participants and their activities by region and category on the NH Open Doors website (nhopendoors.com). The website also has a Google map showing the location of each participant with detailed driving directions, so visitors can plan their routes in advance or use it on the road to navigate to locations they wish to visit. The website also features recommended itineraries throughout the state suggested by NH Open Doors participants. 

Heidi Cogean, owner of Winnipesaukee Winery, the 1810 House Bed & Breakfast and the 1810 Antiques Barn, is welcoming NH Open Doors visitors with hot mulled wine and cookies, wine tastings, discounts on wine purchases and other items.

Social Media and Passport Contest
As part of a social media contest, visitors are encouraged to share their NH Open Doors experiences and post photos of their visits on the NH Open Doors Facebook and Instagram accounts using #NHOpenDoors2017 to win a League of NH Craftsmen Fine Craft Gallery gift certificate – five will be awarded. The gift certificate is for use at any of the League’s eight fine craft galleries (located statewide) or at the gallery at League headquarters in Concord. The participants who visit the most locations will be entered to win. To participate in the contest, visitors also have the option of downloading an NH Open Doors Passport form and obtaining signatures at each location. See nhopendoors.com for details.

Heidi Cogean has previously participated in NH Open Doors with her business, Newfound Lake Vineyards in Bristol. She recently moved her winery to an eight-acre farm in Wolfeboro and this year is participating in NH Open Doors as Winnipesaukee Winery. Along with the winery, her property includes the four-room 1810 House Bed & Breakfast and the 1810 Antiques Barn (one of the oldest in New Hampshire). The winery opened on August 11 and Cogean reports they are now making their first batch of barrel-aged white wine from New Hampshire-grown grapes. 

“We are excited to be welcoming people to our winery and bed and breakfast during NH Open Doors,” Cogean said. “We have planned several activities to make our visitors feel welcome, including serving hot mulled wine and cookies, wine tastings, discounts on wine purchases and other items. And the 1760s-era antiques barn adds a bit of New Hampshire folklore and history to our location. We’ve got something for everyone – wine, a place to stay, antiques, and history – all in one spot.”

Monte-Verde Art Glass Studio on Commercial Street will be among local businesses on the tour.

Barbara Smith McLaughlin, a jewelry artist, educator and juried member of the League, is also launching a new venture during NH Open Doors – a new learning center in Stratham, NH.

“There will be something for everyone, whether you want to purchase jewelry or gemstones, or take a class. There aren’t many places in the Seacoast area where you can take a jewelry-making class. My learning center will have benches for six students,” McLaughlin said. During NH Open Doors, her workbench will feature work in progress, and at 11 am and 2 pm, she will show visitors her stone cutting and polishing area. “Oftentimes we lose sight of what goes into making handcrafted items. People will see my tools and process and hopefully gain a greater appreciation of the time and skill that go into making my jewelry. I love what I do and am excited to be sharing it with others.”

NH Open Doors is managed by the League of NH Craftsmen, with support from the State of New Hampshire, as well as promotional assistance from other New Hampshire art, craft, and business organizations. The League of NH Craftsmen, www.nhcrafts.org, is a non-profit arts organization that encourages, nurtures and promotes the creation, use and preservation of fine craft through the inspiration and education of artists and the broader community. 

To learn more about NH Open Doors, visit nhopendoors.com.