New Haven residents this weekend mounted their bikes to explore work by local artists.

The free bike tours of local studios were organized by Artspace, a New Haven nonprofit that highlights the work of rising artists and offers opportunities for audiences to be exposed to new art. The tours, which took place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, were part of City-Wide Open Studios, a monthlong art festival. Riders were impressed by paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings and photography as they explored the city.

“[The tour] is nice, a lovely way to see a bit more of a city and see some hidden nooks you don’t always get to see,” said Jon Mellor, who participated in Saturday’s ride.

The tours stopped at art studios across New Haven as well as the Eli Whitney Barn and trails along East Rock Park where artists displayed their exhibitions. Chrissy Hart ’20, an intern at Artspace, said she had never visited some of the parts of New Haven that the tour covered and that it was interesting to see them by bike. She added that the tour represented a unique opportunity to not only observe art but also meet and interact with the artists themselves.

At the start of the tour, riders experience photographs by Linda Lindroth, which use trompe l’oeil — a visual illusion designed to make art appear three-dimensional. Lindroth said she found her niche photographing pieces of boxes and enlarging the images to reveal what she describes as “various states of decay and disintegration.”

“You can think of it as recycling,” Lindroth said. “I am interested in things that are discarded.”

Zoe Mattheisen, an artist and environmentalist, brought visitors off the road to see her drawings in the exact locations where she created them. Her work features images of fallen trees, colorful birds and the placid Mill River. In some of these drawings, the peaceful forest is disrupted by plastics and garbage — a reminder of the harm consumer products can inflict on the natural world.

The tour also included precisionist oil paintings by Anna Audette that feature parts of machinery and representations of American industry. According to her husband, Louis Audette, Anna Audette created more than 100 paintings after she was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s. She died four years ago.

Bike tour guide Rob Rocke MUS ’96 said the annual tours have taken place for at least 10 years and that the tour provides a manageable way to see a “bunch of artists.”

This year marks the 17th anniversary of the City-Wide Open Studios festival.

Jack Jensen |

Correction, Oct. 24: A previous version of this article listed the name one of the artists featured in the bike tour as Laura Lindroth. In fact, her name is Linda Lindroth.