Posts Categorized: Artist Features

Fall Art Trips: Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour

Fall is the loveliest season around here (we think). So we put together a little list of events to add to your calendar! Go ahead and hit the road this fall for some fun art trips in the Driftless Region! Next up: Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour!


Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour
October 7-9, 2016
Decorah, Iowa, and 40-mile surrounding region

As mentionedneiast, we think studio tours are a pretty cool thing. Artists welcome you into their workspaces for fun, behind-the-scenes tours. If you’re at all interested in art, road trips, or even just people in general, it’s something you really should experience.

The Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio tour – in its 19th year – features 52 artists at 40 locations all within a 40-mile radius of small-town Decorah.

“There were so many artists doing high-caliber shows throughout the country, but people in and around Decorah didn’t know that they were here,” says Darla Ellickson of the main reason she and Margaret Davis of the Decorah Regional Arts Council (now Driftless Art Collective) decided to launch the first Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour in 1998. “We honestly didn’t know how that first tour was going to turn out, but it was well enough attended that we decided to keep on going.”

Indeed. The Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour is Iowa’s first and longest running tour of artists’ studios in the state.

Sculptors? Yep. Oil painters? They’re on the tour too. So are jewelry-makers, ceramicists, potters, fiber artists, wood-workers, basket-makers, silk painters, photographers, quilters, and, yes, even kaleidoscope-makers.

Tour participants can set their own pace while driving from studio to studio. The full-color brochure features a map with GPS and lodging and dining along the route. Directions, maps, GPS coordinates and lodging/dining will be available as web downloads. Workspaces are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days and the tour is free of charge. Pick up your brochure at the Decorah Visitor’s Center, around town, or online at

Check out more Fall Art Trips here!

(Pssst: there’s a great road trip packing list too!)

Fall Art Trips Series


By Aryn Henning Nichols

In our humble opinions, if the roads are good to go, it’s a perfect time for us to go… on a road trip! And fall in the Driftless Region is an especially nice time to hit the road – the leaves are techno-coloring out, the air is crisp, and there always seems to be some sort of fun event or new place to check out – and lots of great arts and cultural events. To this we say: Yes! Score!

We love supporting the arts, and there are tons of amazing artists to support here. Participating in events like these is a perfect way to support the arts and artists directly (and can also be a great time to purchase some meaningful holiday gifts)!

So we put together a fun little arts and culture road trip list for fall – check out the whole series to get ideas on your calendars and get out during the loveliest season!

1. Driftless Area Art Festival

2. Vesterheim “Skål! Scandinavian Spirits” Exhibit

3. Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour

4. Driftless Film Festival

5. Lanesboro Arts Center

Wondering what to pack? Check out our art trip packing list!


(Click above for larger version)

Feeling like you’re digging the art fun? Add these art-y Driftless places to your list too:


Decorah, Iowa

Guttenberg Creativity Center
Guttenberg, Iowa

McGregor/Marquette Center for the Arts
McGregor, Iowa

The Pump House
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Rochester Art Center
Rochester, Minnesota

Minnesota Marine Art Museum
Winona, Minnesota


Pictured at very top: husband and wife team Nate and Hallie Evans run their company, Allamakee Wood Fired Pottery, at the end of a beautiful road in rural, you guess it – Allamakee county! Their pottery – tableware, vases, pots, and more – is lovely with gorgeous designs and cool, earthy colors – we especially love their line of kids’ cups – and the setting of their home and studio is equally lovely. When we ventured out there last fall during the Northeast Iowa Artists Studio Tour, Roxie got to play out in the yard with the Evans’ boys while we checked out the studio space and giant kiln…and there was even tasty soup on for tour-goers! ( / Photo by Benji Nichols