In Brown County, art isn’t a hobby. It’s a way of life.

During October, visitors can get a glimpse into that way of life. The Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour is a free, self-guided driving tour of the present-day Art Colony of the Midwest.

The 2017 Studio Tour is the biggest yet, with 17 working studios and 27 artisans.

Meet the artisans. Watch them work and explore their working spaces. Spend quality time talking with them and learning their stories. Experience the inspiration behind the art. Buy handcrafted items directly from the artists who made them.

Artists on the tour create paintings, pottery, jewelry, weaving, glass, basket weaving, metalwork and woodworking. But it also features artisans creating more surprising things, including hand bookbinding, letterpress printing, gourd art, calligraphy, mosaics, torn paper artwork and limestone carving. Their studios range from carefully remodeled rooms inside their homes to stand-alone galleries and workspaces next to their homes.

The tour always is free. A free map and guide are available at browncountystudiotour.com, at the Brown County Visitor Center in downtown Nashville, and at many businesses in Nashville. The route is well-signed, and no reservations are required.

Studios are generally open daily Oct. 1 to 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but there are a few exceptions, which are noted on the map.