There’s something about a tenth anniversary that feels like a milestone reached. Maybe it’s the entrance into double digits, or maybe it’s just our liking for rounding things off into even decades. Either way, the Saugerties Artists’ Studio Tour has reached that landmark status, growing from its inception in 2002 with just 11 participating artists to an anticipated event each summer, this year featuring 39 artists who will open their studios to showcase their art and welcome visitors on Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The tour is an opportunity for people to see not only an artist’s work,” says tour coordinator and participating artist Barbara Bravo, “but how they live, and to get a glimpse into the creative process by seeing works of art in progress in the studio.”
The tenth anniversary will be marked by several special events. An opening reception will be held at Opus 40 in Saugerties on Friday, August 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission to the reception is free of charge, as is the Tour itself. “For some reason,” says Bravo, “a lot of people don’t seem to realize that access to everything connected with the Tour is free, and open to everybody.”
Not only that, but admission to the grounds of Opus 40 will be free on Friday for visitors coming to the Tour reception, she says, so it’s a chance to check out Harvey Fite’s sprawling environmental work at no charge, as well as to preview the art that will be shown in the studios over the weekend. Tad Richards, the creative director of Opus 40, will be displaying his digital art on the Tour.
Each artist on the Tour will be represented by one piece at the Opus 40 reception, says Bravo, “so attendees can get an idea that night of who is on the Tour and whom they’d like to go and see more of over the weekend. The idea is to hang out with the artists, have some fun and plan the weekend accordingly.”
For another taste of what the artists of Saugerties can do, the Kiersted House on Main Street is currently hosting “10,” a themed exhibit with one work by each of the participating tour artists who accepted the challenge of creating a piece encompassing the theme of “ten,” in honor of the tenth anniversary of the tour. “It’s mind-boggling to see the imaginative ways that our artists dealt with that theme,” says Bravo.
The exhibit remains on view at the Kiersted until the end of August, when it will move to Café Mezzaluna on Route 212 in Saugerties. An opening reception for the show there will be held Saturday, September 1 from 4 to 6 p.m., with the exhibit remaining up through the end of September.
Details about the participating artists and maps for the studio locations can be found online by visiting www.saugertiesarttour.com. The artists work in a variety of media, and visitors can expect to see examples of printmaking, painting, illustration, digital art, mixed-media works, sculpture, fine furnituremaking, ceramics, metalwork and more.
Many of the artists have been singled out for awards or special recognition. Sharyn Alexander, ceramic sculptor, has been selected for inclusion in the permanent collection of the Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred University. Allen Bryan, photographer, was selected to participate in the “Revealing Culture” exhibition at the Smithsonian’s International Gallery and the Shift exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Elin Menzies was awarded the 2008 Yasuo Kuniyoshi Award from the Woodstock Artists’ Association and Museum (WAAM) and the 2011 Jacobs/Towbin Award. Steve Frederick of Jemerick Art Pottery had one of his ceramic pieces selected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for its 2011 catalogue. Susan Sammis Goldson’s photography was featured in a recent national show in Poughkeepsie, and she was awarded Honorable Mention in a regional photography show in Troy, as well at WAAM. Jacquie Roland, artist and writer, was featured in Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts, Volume II, and her second play, Starstruck, was performed in the Short Play Festival in Kingston. Polly M. Law published The Word Project: Odd & Obscure Words – Illustrated, a Top Ten Book for Word-Lovers according to National Public Radio. Alex Kveton’s sculptures continue to be exhibited nationally and internationally with an upcoming exhibit in St. Petersburg, Russia. And Barbara Bravo was awarded the People’s Choice Award – Honorable Mention at the Art Society of Kingston show in July 2012, and Best in Show at the 2010 Fall for Art show sponsored by the Ulster County Jewish Federation.
New to the tour this year are Sara Conca, Kim Alderman, Robert George and Shelli Lipton, and returning artists include Jesse Reimer, Poli Cecil, Carol Zaloom, Mikhail Horowitz, Michael Ciccone and Ze’ev Willy Neumann.
An opening reception for the tenth annual Saugerties Artists’ Studio Tour will be held on Friday, August 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Opus 40. Admission to the grounds and the reception are free of charge. The Tour will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no charge for the self-guided tour. Maps and further information are available online at www.saugertiesarttour.com. The ongoing exhibit “10” is on view through August at the Kiersted House, located at 119 Main Street in Saugerties and in September at Café Mezzaluna on Route 212. For information on hours at the Kiersted House, call (845) 246-9529 or 246-0784; for Café Mezzaluna, visit www.cafemezzaluna.com.