The echoes of art reverberate throughout the hills and valleys of Hopewell. For many decades its beauty and solitude have drawn extraordinary artists to put down roots, find their muse, and ply their trade. Creativity abounds here, but it’s sometimes pretty far off the beaten path. Once again, though, Hopewell artists — practicing professional artists — will open up their studio doors for everyone to come see just where and how they work their magic as they present the eighth annual Tour Des Arts, on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4.

Founded under the auspices and with annual support of the Hopewell Borough Economic Development Committee and by such artists as Ruth Ann Morpeth, Sean Mannix, and Beth Ann Judge, the self-guided walking and driving “Tour” draws hundreds annually and this year features 29 artists in a wide variety of disciplines: painting, mixed-media, sculpture, woodworking, photography, weaving, design, crafts, and more.

The Tour begins in Hopewell Borough at the historic Hopewell Train Station, where you pick up your map and where you’ll also be greeted by a sampler of some of the artists’ work just to tease you. And next door in the old train shed building, some of the artists of the Valley — whose studios are a bit too deep in the woods to accommodate heavy traffic, will hold an exhibition of their own. Then it’s off to the hills and a gorgeous jaunt on the bucolic byways of Hopewell to discover those special and sometimes hidden places where Hopewell artists make their art. Maps can also be found in town at Brother’s Moon restaurant or on-line at www.hopewellarts.com.

Tour Des Arts runs rain or shine from 10-5 on Saturday and from 11-4 on Sunday. It’s free and that’s because of growing community support. The artists themselves contribute much. But each year Tour Des Arts picks up more boosters. This eighth annual event continues with the support of the Hopewell Economic Development Committee, and sponsorship from T. Johnson Design, Morpeth Contemporary, and Highland Design Farm.

Add to that the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, which this year joins the roster by helping to promote the event in keeping with its mission “to celebrate the arts in everyday.” As founding artist Sean Mannix put it, “What a wonderful fit!”

Autumn in the Hopewell Valley — artists welcoming you to their special places of inspiration (and perspiration) — fascinating art just around the next bend in the rural road — a perfect fit indeed.

This year’s participating artists include Laurel Daunis-Allen, Aurelle Sprout, Joyce Parkinson, Lucia Huebner, Mickie Marshall Jacoby, Beth Evans, Pamela Shafer, Susan MacQueen, Charles McCollough, Rebecca Sylvan, Thom Montanari, and Karen McLean.

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