Have you ever wondered how etched glass is made? Or how large public art pieces are conceived? The third annual Stapleton Open Studios Tour is an opportunity to meet artists and see how they create art in their home studios.
“We find a lot of people don’t understand what an artist goes through from vision to finished product,” said Kathy Skarvan, a photographic/multimedia artist and the coordinator of the tour. “We want to invite them into our home studios for demonstrations, a chance to visit one-on-one, and educate them about our process.”
The free, self-guided tour on Sept. 26 and 27 from 11am to 5pm, features 12 Stapleton studios and 21 artists who work in many different mediums. A tour map and booklet are available at the Stapleton MCA, Abode & Company and Staybridge Suites in Northfield, and from participating artists, as well as online at stapletonarts.com. The opening reception, which is free and open to the public, will be 6 to 8pm on Sept. 25 at Staybridge Suites, 8101 Northfield Blvd.
The artists work in various mediums including oil and acrylics, pastels, mosaics, jewelry, mixed-media, sculpture, photographic art, glass, textiles and clay.
Randy Curry and Rebecca Tomlin moved to Conservatory Green last year to create art in their home. This is their first year participating in the Stapleton Open Studios Tour. Curry is a sculptor who builds large public art pieces, as well as smaller pieces for yards and homes. Tomlin creates whimsical sculptures from clay.
Curry, a retired architect, has completed public art sculptures for the cities of Lakewood and Monument. “They are 12- to 16-feet tall so I build them in pieces in the garage and put them together on the site,” said Curry. “Certain forms, colors and textures I use come from my architectural design work. I work in steel, aluminum and stainless steel and I like forms that make sense to people. My abstract designs might incorporate squares, balls, rings or tubing.”
Tomlin, a retired art teacher, makes clay and mixed-media sculptures including whimsical, “tongue-in-cheek” characters and a line of ceramic jewelry holders that are for sale on Etsy.com. Her work is also sold in a gallery in Taos and the Willow Artisan Center in Littleton. “I build and fire my pieces in parts, in a small kiln in our garage,” Tomlin said. “Randy and I often collaborate on pieces, like he’ll build a little car for one of my characters. Sometimes I provide a finial on top of one of his outdoor sculptures. It’s a challenge to combine media; it’s a journey and a learning process.”
Linda Wingate, a three-dimensional, multimedia glass artist and Stapleton resident for 9 years, has participated in the Stapleton Open Studios Tour since its first year in 2013. Her work is sold in galleries in Florida and Steamboat Springs.
Wingate’s art requires many steps and says people are amazed and enlightened to watch her work. “They say ‘I never knew that’s how it’s done, that’s how you get that effect,’” she said. “People need to see it for themselves to really understand the process. I love explaining what I do, but it’s hard to understand until you see it.”
Wingate’s pieces incorporate forms from nature with symmetrical and geometric designs. “I’ve always been attracted to colored glass,” she said. “My primary focus as an artist addresses the inherent qualities of glass. Its optical and tactile properties are the perfect medium for channeling my creative energy and expressing my artistic vision.”
Kathy Skarvan, tour coordinator and Stapleton resident, calls her work contemporary fusion art. “What is fusion art?” asks Skarvan. “It’s when art mediums converge to make a composite. For me it is where products from the camera meet technology and other modes of creative expression. I start with a photograph and I experiment with mixing images, colors, shapes and textures to create unusual composites. I particularly like big pieces—my biggest is 53 by 53 inches.”
“I hope people get inspired by watching the processes of creating art,” said Wingate. “If you have curiosity, anything’s possible. I say just try it.”