Creative Workspaces Open to the Public in Art Studio Views
Clockwise from top left: Randy Bloom with one of her paintings; works by Jeff Romano, Carl Greico, and Richard Chianelle
It’s hard enough to be an artist. But to be an artist working alone in a studio in a quiet rural area, however noted for its sophistication and culture, can be, if not a hardship, just a wee bit lonesome and isolating.
When Doris Cultraro (left) first came to Rhinebeck from New York City to set up her studio for making stained glass, she says, “I heard the arts and artists were here—but where were they? I truly wanted to know.” That is how Art Studio Views came into being. Now in its fifth year, this free, self-guided tour, taking place over Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 1 and 2, is designed to promote the work and talents of local artists in Northern Dutchess County. Nearly 40 artists in Hyde Park, Clinton, Rhinebeck, Red Hook, Staatsburg, and Tivoli will open their studios to the public to “share their creative environment, and help visitors understand the inspiration that drives their passion,” Cultraro notes.
“The idea was to encourage people to come into the region and to get beyond the gallery experience to see how the artist works,” says Cultraro. She says that it started with 21 participants in 2007 and now has nearly 40, including painters such as Randy Bloom of Tivoli, sculptors such as Carl Greico of Hyde Park, printmakers such as Melissa Braggins of Rhinebeck (below), and photographers such as Richard Chianelle from Rhinebeck, as well as numerous other artists and artisans working in a variety of media.
“It’s one thing to talk to a gallery owner about an artist, and it’s another to see one working in the flesh,” says Cultraro, who initiated the tour with three other artists. The artists will do what they normally do, and throw in extras for visitors. Joan Levittt, a printmaker in Staatsburg, will teach guests how to make monoprints, by having them create patterns on Plexiglas and run it through the press themselves. Christine Livesey in Rhinebeck, a seriographer who does traditional silk screening, will demonstrate her age-old techinique with help from visitors. Carl Greico will demonstrate the seemingly impossible task of manipulatulating marble or stone into abstract sculptural works.
“It’s hard, like corralling the cats, and I had to pull all my skills in the corporate world to make it happen,” notes Cultraro, a former vice president of administration at Comedy Central, of organizing the annual tour. “Even though I was the newbie at the time, I ended up carrying the torch. But it’s been very rewarding, working with all the artists.” She credits Alice Seeger (niece-in-law of you-know-who) as especially helpful in organizing and promoting this year’s tour; Seeger created this lyrical video for the event.
A new feature of this year’s Art Studio Views is an online auction of wooden boxes designed and donated by each of the artists. Auction proceeds benefit Vassar Brothers Medical Center Pediatric Unit Oncology Arts Program at Vassar Brother’s Hospital in Poughkeepsie. You can check out the Art Boxes in storefront windows in Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Hyde Park, or preview them here.
Of course Cultraro’s Rhinebeck stained glass studio is also on the tour. “I’ll be having demonstrations on how to make stained glass, a glass-cutting clinic for home repairs, and also a short film on how glass is made,” she says. “With popcorn.” – Scott Baldinger
The Art Studio Views
A self-guided open-studio tour of 30-plus artists in Dutchess County
Labor Day Weekend, Saturday September 1 & Sunday, September 2, 2012
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.