April 16, 2014

Local artists open studios

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Jess_Polanshek

‘The Artifact I’ by Jess Polanshek.

Observer correspondent

Close to 130 craftspeople and artists across the state are expected to open their studios to the public this weekend, Oct. 5 and 6, during the third annual Fall Open Studio Weekend.

Billed as an invitation to go behind the scenes and see Vermont artists in their unique creative work environments, the event is organized by the Vermont Crafts Council and coincides with the fourth annual American Craft Week, held Oct. 4 to 13.

The Open Studio Weekend offers the public a behind-the-scenes look at the workspaces of glassblowers, weavers, sculptors, potters, woodworkers, printmakers, jewelers, furniture makers, painters, quilters and more.

“I find the studio environment fascinating for what it says about the creative process and the arrangement of space and tools in which to practice it,” Martha Fitch, executive director of the Vermont Crafts Council, wrote in an email to the Observer.

Chelsea Lindner, co-owner of Artists’ Mediums at 300 Cornerstone Drive in the Taft Farm Village Center Plaza in Williston, believes the Open Studio Weekend is important for a couple of reasons.

“The whole point of it is to show how art is made,” she said. “It’s not just about selling your work.”

chelsea_lindner

A watercolor painting by Chelsea Lindner.

Lindner, co-owner Kristin Richland and two of their artist-employees, are participating in the Fall Open Studio Weekend.

The group calls themselves “The Four Artists of Artists’ Mediums” because each artist specializes in a different type of artwork, from illustrative acrylics that are just “fun” to Ukrainian egg decorating, exquisite pen and walnut ink drawings—the ink is made from walnut shells—and oil paintings.

“We’ll have examples of our work here and be working on art at the same time, so the public gets a chance to see art being made,” Lindner said. “I find that when someone watches you make art, they develop a deeper appreciation for the art.”

theresa_somerset

‘Bittersweet Eggs’ by Theresa Somerset.

kristin_Richland

‘Lizard with a sandwich’ by Kristin Richland.

Sean Dye Studio, located at 681 Willow Brook Lane in St. George, is also listed as being open to the public during the Fall Open Studio Weekend, as are several studios in the surrounding towns of Richmond and Huntington.

“There’s a nice grouping of artists on a route that includes Huntington, Richmond, Williston and St. George,” said Anne Majusiak of the Vermont Crafts Council in an email to the Observer, adding that the loop is gorgeous right now with peak foliage.

Printmaker and jeweler Daryl Storrs and Huntington River Smithy, the studio of blacksmith Jim Fecteau, are in Huntington. The jewelry studio of Lori Yarrow is on Sherman Hollow Road and Jean Meinhardt’s pottery studio is in Richmond along Route 2.

“Keep your eye out for the bright yellow Open Studio signs along the roads that guide you along the way,” Majusiak advised. “One thing I love about Open Studio is how easy it is to find studios to visit.”

For more information, visit www.vermontcrafts.com or call 223-3380.  Fall Open Studio Weekend maps and guides are available on the website and at tourist centers, galleries, and community centers.

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