Thanksgiving weekend offers peek in to local artists’ studios

From South Bethany to Bethany, Ocean View to Dagsboro, little Southeastern Sussex is full of artists willing and able to open up their working studios and galleries to people who are interested in seeing them in action, creating their masterpieces. This weekend, as they have for the past 18 years, artists will welcome guests to start the holiday season right after Thanksgiving.

Coastal Point • Submitted  : Jeanne Mueller’s ‘Summer Sunset’ will be  the Art in the Hat raffle item, and is a framed 16-by-20 limited edition, gicleé print.Coastal Point • Submitted
Jeanne Mueller’s ‘Summer Sunset’ will be the Art in the Hat raffle item, and is a framed 16-by-20 limited edition, gicleé print.

The tour is free and self-guided and takes place on Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24. Brochures with maps to the studios are available at each artist’s location and online at

In addition to getting a glimpse into the lives and minds of area artists through their studios and galleries, people can also take the opportunity to support a cause. An “Art in the Hat” raffle gives tour visitors the opportunity to support local school art programs while buying chances on artworks donated by the tour artists. To date, SEDAST has raised and donated more than $30,000 to local public schools for art education.

Also, this year, they will showcase a guest artist, Sonya Frey, daughter of woodturner Tom Frey, a founding member of the tour and a part of it for the last 18 years.

“We wanted to get some fresh faces in,” Tom Frey explained.

The younger Frey, a graphic artist by trade, works mainly in contemporary abstract painting.

“I started in 2004, as a student of Tara Grim, who is also on the tour,” explained Sonya Frey. “And I fell in love with it. I do a lot of color and design and acrylics and collage.”

She said she uses things such as Chinese money and maps and also paints on her own collage paper.

When asked where her inspiration comes from, Frey said she just “loves color!”

“I have a strong design background, and I just love color. I work through a painting until I think it’s finished. I don’t really base it on realism. It’s very abstract work.”

While Frey has her own working studio in Milford, she will be showcased this year on the tour as a guest at her father’s studio in Dagsboro.

In addition to the Freys, the studios and galleries showcased will offer a variety of talents, including painter and collage creator Tara Funk Grim; painter Ellen Rice; painter Laura Hickman; award-winning professional watercolorist Anne Hanna; glass artist Justin Cavagnaro; artist and jewelry designer Kim Doughty-Cavagnaro; photographer and digital artist Jeffrey Todd Moore; watercolor, acrylic and mixed media painter Cheryl Wisbrock; oil, mixed media and watercolor artist Jeanne Mueller; and watercolor, oil and mural painter and photographer Jennifer Carter.

For more information or descriptions on each of the artists featured or for a map of the self-guided tour, visit online.