This year, the popular Over the Mountain Studio Tour (OTMST)—the oldest studio tour in West Virginia—will host its 30th Anniversary Tour, landing on Saturday and Sunday, November 9 + 10, from 10am-5pm. The rare occasion allows the public to meet artists throughout Jefferson County, observe their studio spaces, and learn about their processes.

In honor of OTMST’s dedication to education, this year’s event will showcase an emerging artist program, comprised of two locations that will host developing artists who have shown talent and dedication in their work. These individuals have attended many previous tours and are excited to gain experience with the overall business side of being a working artist.

Founding member Anne Bowers (tour stop number six) will host three promising young artists who have been working together for nine years in a group facilitated by local artist, Beth Brent. Their work includes calligraphy, poetry, animal sculpture, and polymer clay sculptures.

Additionally, blacksmith Eric Johnson, (tour stop number nine) will host a young Harpers Ferry native who creates works in chalk pastels and various painting mediums. Recently, her work was chosen for the 2020 West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Calendar. She has stated that the success of her new business as an artist could not have been accomplished without the interest and support from her friends and this exceptional community.

These young artists have infused a fresh new vision for the tour as it celebrates three decades—looking from past, present, and into the future. Come see for yourself what years of community support for local artists has created.

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* The tour travels through Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, and Shepherdstown.

* Artists offer works for sale in various mediums including, ceramics, glass, wood, jewelry, drawings, prints, paintings, and more.

* Guests can plan their visit by following the brochure map available at tour stops and local businesses, or downloading the online map available at the above link.

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A Love of Nature and Art

The Tour is also happy to announce the return of the Coolspring Nature Preserve (1469 Lloyd Rd., Charles Town). Attendees may have visited this site in 2015 as Craftworks at Coolspring. While the Coolspring preserve is the inspiration of many Jefferson County artists and naturalists, it also shares property with tour member, Linda Case, who founded the 80-acre preserve in hopes that people would be able to join their love of nature and art.

The Coolspring locations will be showing her mixed-media works along with colored-pencil artist Tara Bell, and fiber artist Susan Shildmyer, who creates free-form knitted wearables.

— For additional information, email, or call 703-727-2532.

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