Open Studios Tour, Free and open to the public, Sept. 28 – 29, 11am to 5pm
Opening Reception: hors d’oeuvres/drinks/music, Sept. 27, 6 – 8pm
Reception and free maps: 8371 Northfield Blvd. #C
The seventh annual self-guided Stapleton Open Studios tour of artists’ studios is back, with 26 artists at 15 studios ready to meet visitors, show their work and demonstrate how it is made. The artists represent a range of media, including painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry, glass, fiber art and mixed media. All art is for sale.
“Every year we have new artists participating,” said Lin Clark, tour coordinator. “This year we’re seeing more mixed media. Artists can look at a material—like fabric, resin, even dominoes—and say, ‘Oh, I can make something out of that.”
In addition to tours on Sept. 28 and 29, a free and open to the public reception with live music by Paris Swing Set will be held Friday, September 27, from 6-8 p.m. at The Cube. “All the artists will be there, and each will bring one piece to show,” said Clark. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.
Open Studios artists Dave Aldridge and Lelija Roy both hope their art inspires viewers to pay attention to the world around them.
“I like scenes that reflect our interaction with the world,” says Aldridge, a photographer and resident of Stapleton since 2014. “Like in New Zealand, we saw a tourist trying to get close to the bottom of a waterfall. She looked like the ‘Maid of the Mist’ personified. I also like shooting things people might notice every day, but they don’t really see, like the big yellow articulated wall sculpture off I-25 at Alameda. I like unusual signs too, like the signs on old Colfax motels.”
Aldridge said he appreciates the sometimes-unexpected interplay between people and nature. “One day at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, the bison herd was right next to the road. I took a shot of one standing by a stop sign, looking right at me. I call it Crossing Guard.”
He said he enjoys the visitors at Stapleton Open Studios. “I like to answer questions about my work: where it was done and what I saw that made me want to capture the image.”
Painter/mixed media artist Lelija Roy, a Stapleton resident since 2006, calls herself “an eco-seductress. I work to make you fall in love with the earth—and want to cherish and protect her.”
A hiker and nature-lover, Roy captures scenes “where nothing is man-made.” Aware of the degradation of our natural environment, Roy attempts to save its beauty for future generations through her work. “A walk in the woods is important and I want it to be here forever, so I use my painting skill to bring it to people. This is my life’s work.”
To capture her scenes, Roy combines acrylic paints with various rice papers, lace, silk, fibers and metals with acrylic mediums. She compares her work to that of photographers in the 19th century, who traveled to wild places and took their photos back to Congress. “They showed what needed to be preserved.”
Roy has traveled into protected places by horseback to capture what most people don’t get to see. “Rather than having my art in a museum, I want it to be in every nature lover’s home or office, so they can see nature and wander in it mentally. I’ve done commissions for people who climbed a 14er; it makes their soul sing when they go back to Chicago. My point is that we all need to be in nature, not just look at it through the windshield. Hopefully we can make sure the wild places are always there.”