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Jewelry and more at GALA GalleryCreative people throughout this region are working in glass and metal, fiber and clay — making everything from jewelry to home décor, and even whimsical garden ornaments.

Wouldn’t you just love to see what these artists and artisans are up to these days? Well, we’ve got good news for you! It’s easy to see the talent on display — and available for sale — throughout the cities and towns of North Central Massachusetts.

Whether you’d like to explore on your own, or take an easy-to-follow tour, the art and craft galleries of the region await your visit. Here are a couple of ideas to get your started on your journey of discovery:

Fitchburg’s Open Studios Tour. On the weekend of September 24-25, you can experience first-hand the actual working spaces, exhibition spaces, and studios of some of the most accomplished artists in the greater Fitchburg area, on this self-guided tour. There will also be several “pop up” sites throughout the city. Pick up a brochure at many locations, including the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2, then stop to visit as many studios as you’d like — while enjoying a little leaf-peeping along the way! Learn more at FitchburgOpenStudios on Facebook.

Back Roads Studio Tour. Each fall, local artists and craftsmen open their studios for a self-guided tour of the beautiful back roads of rural New England towns, including Barre and Petersham. This year’s tour will be held on October 1 and 2, from 10 am to 5 pm each day. Check out the participating artists online at

teddies-at-plainviewCountry Roads Christmas Tour. The annual Country Roads tour through several towns in the northwest section of Johnny Appleseed Country spotlights a variety of small businesses — including shops where you’ll find handcrafted leather garments, belts and luggage; fiber products from Plain View Farm’s own alpacas; and fine arts and crafts on display. Need a bite to keep you going as you roam? The Country Roads Tour also includes restaurants — and don’t forget to peruse the specialty cheeses at Smith’s Country Cheese! You’ll have plenty of time to explore: This tour runs a full month, from November 11 to December 11! There are lots of details at

Create your own tour! There are so many great places to see what artists and craftsmen are up to these days! From the Gardner Area League of Artists gallery or Not Just Produced shop in downtown Winchendon to the Creative Connections gallery in Ashburnham, you can discover everything from quilts to hand-blown glass ornaments, whimsical gnomes to sterling jewelry… and so much more! Be sure to stop by the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 to gather maps and brochures spotlighting many great stops in the region — and explore the hand-crafted items right there in the center’s shop to get you in the mood!