‘80s graffiti queen Lady Pink joins roster of artists for the Gardiner Open Studio

Lady Pink in her Gardiner studio. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Lady Pink in her Gardiner studio. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Organized by painter/gallerists Ken Aspin and Donna Weil of the D. M. Weil Gallery at 208 Bruynswick Road, the semiannual Gardiner Open Studio Tour — or GOST, pronounced like “ghost” — is marking its first anniversary over Columbus Day weekend. Eighteen artists based in Gardiner or adjacent areas of New Paltz, Wallkill or Pine Bush are once again opening their homes and studios to visitors this Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Monday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The number of participating artists in this self-guided tour continues to grow — up from 16 back in May — and they’re a diverse and fascinating group, with some impressive credentials.

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Among those artists returning, for example, sculptor Greg Glasson used to be vice president for special projects at Tallix Foundry in Beacon — one of those projects under his direction being the recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s enormous bronze horse sculpture. And painter and encaustics artist Marilyn Perry is chair emeritus of the World Monuments Fund.

But the real buzz in Gardiner art circles is the arrival on the scene of someone from a very different sphere of the art world: an Ecuadorean native whose real name is Sandra Fabara, but who made a huge name for herself in the world of graffiti art in the 1980s under the tag Lady Pink. Though she got formal art training at the Manhattan’s High School of Art & Design and was known as a fan of historical romances and Victorian England, Lady Pink also had the street savvy to find acceptance among two of the most influential graffiti “crews” of the day, the Cool 5 and the Public Animals, and painted New York City Subway trains with them from 1978 to 1985.

Lady Pink’s work was included in the landmark 1980 “Graffiti Art Success” show at the Fashion Moda gallery in the South Bronx, which more or less put hip-hop culture on the map. She went on to collaborate repeatedly with Jenny Holzer and to become one of the stars of Charlie Ahearn’s film Wild Style. Though she still paints outdoor murals with her husband, a graffiti artist who uses the moniker Smith, nowadays she works mostly on canvas. Characterized by vivid color and images with a science-fiction feel, her paintings now hang in such hallowed halls as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Netherlands’ Groningen Museum. And now you can see her latest works in person, right in Gardiner at 526 South Mountain Road. Three other artists new to the tour are mixed media/ceramics artist Meadow, photographer/fiber artist Keri Gould and painter Ron Schaefer.

Most of the GOST sites are arrayed in a crescent about 13 miles in length, from Outlook Farm in the northeast to Sheldon Road in the southwest. And this time around, art explorers can visit more of the participants in fewer hours, since a number of the artists are setting up in clusters. Aforementioned sculptor Glasson, photographer Robert Goldwitz and ceramist Annie O’Neill will share a studio space at 23 Shaft Road. The pastel landscapes of Andrea McFarland and the abstract photography of Jonathan Pazer will be on view at 513 South Mountain Road. : Oil painters Marsha Massih and John Varriano share a space at 2228 Route 44/55, and the ceramic sculptures of married couple Pam and Craig Booth can be seen at 1112 Bruynswick Road. Also participating will be ceramist Lynn Isaacson, clock artist Leonie Lacouette, oil painter Stacie Flint and contemporary painter Donna M. Weil.

So come on out, pay a visit to the artists, watch them at work, check out their latest projects and feel free to ask them questions. “There are no wrong questions, no ill-informed inquiries,” says Aspin and Weil’s blog at the GOST website.

To find out more, call the Weil Gallery at (845) 255-3336, e-mail info@gostartists.org or visit www.gostartists.org. A full-color brochure with a detailed map and additional information about the artists is widely available in the area, and you can also print the map directly from the website.