Ashford House Studio hosts Connecticut Open House Day art event

By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Wed., Jun. 12, 2013
Karen DePersia, owner of Ashford House Studio, stands next to the painting that was raffled off, and won by Linda McMurray of Willington. Photos by Kitty LeShay.
Karen DePersia, owner of Ashford House Studio, stands next to the painting that was raffled off, and won by Linda McMurray of Willington. Photos by Kitty LeShay.

A steady stream of visitors celebrating Connecticut Open House Day came to the Ashford House Studio on June 8 to view and purchase paintings by five well-known impressionist artists from northeast Connecticut. The day was the annual statewide celebration of more than 200 destinations across the state, such as historic inns, museums and art exhibits. The purpose of the Open House Day - sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism - is to encourage residents to discover or rediscover the state’s inspiring local attractions.

Artists Nancy Cooke-Bunnell, Jane Collins, Katharine Mann, Shauna Shane and the owner of the property, Karen DePersia, presented a feast for the eyes both in their work and the beautiful setting, in a circa-1724 barn.

Harini Hosain and Stephen Blake from West Hartford made Eastern Connecticut their designated destination. “We picked a place we have never been to before. It is absolutely beautiful in this part of the state. We have visited several participants of Open House Day,” Hosain said.

Ashford House Studio was purchased about 18 months ago by DePersia and her husband, Tom Brown. They purchased the property with the goal of sharing their life-long passion for history and the arts with the public. “Our vision for this property is evolving. We will be participating in the Open Studio Tours and hope to extend the hours so that people have more time to make their holiday artistic purchases,” DePersia said. They may extend their sales to antiques and unique gifts, as well.

In order to qualify for Open House Day, there is a simple application to fill out, and the state wants the participants to offer something like a raffle to the public. DePersia offered one of her paintings. Money raised from the raffle and a portion of the sale of the paintings will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “My mom passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that is why I wanted to do this a benefit. We had hoped she would be here with us for the show,” DePersia said.

The winner of the raffle was Linda McMurray of Willington.

Pat McMullen, a visitor, summed up the event simply: “Beautiful setting, beautiful show,” she said.


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