Saugerties, sometimes called the festival town, is a busy place from Memorial Day until winter’s chill sends everyone back to their cozy nests and wood-burning stoves. During the season of plenty, many painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, collagists and craftspeople prominently participate in the town’s annual art event — the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour, now heading into its 14th year.
The Tour has an amazing history. Over the course of its existence, it has featured more than 100 artists, who work in a wide variety of media, embracing traditional forms along with digital manipulation, wearable art, and sculptures that run the gamut from figurative to the far stretches of the imagination. Artisans add their own fine talents with handmade furniture and functional and visually pleasing clay work, some of which pushes the medium to its limits. New to the Tour this year are works of installation art at two locations.
With so many artists tucked away in the corners of the town and village who need a venue to share their work with the community, the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour gives them that opportunity in the best of all places, their own studio. What better way for visitors to see not only completed artwork, but works in progress that can lead to stimulating conversations? And what better way to see the nuts and bolts, the actual physical labor and technology that goes into creating a specific work of art? Lovers of the arts, students, upcoming artists, and the curious are all enriched by taking the Tour.
The 2016 Tour runs from Friday, August 12 to Sunday, August 14 and features 44 artists. It kicks off with a fantastic reception and gallery exhibit by Tour artists at Opus 40, home to the vast bluestone sculpture by Harvey Fite, on Friday, August 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This popular event draws hundreds of people who enjoy meeting the artists and getting a glimpse at what they will discover at the studios. Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14, are the open studio days, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. This is a free, self-guided tour, and full-color tour maps are available at any of the locations listed on the Tour’s website, www.saugertiesarttour. org.
Artists who will be opening their private studios during this year’s tour are: Isaac Abrams, Noelle Auriemma, Tara Bach, Anita Barbour, Ana Bergen, Kelli Bickman, Barbara Bravo, Sharon Broit, David Brown, Jean Campbell, Michael Ciccone, Shelley Davis, Tamara DiMattio, Ruth Edwy, Steve Frederick, Robert George, Josepha Gutelius, Mikhail Horowitz, Jennifer Jewett, Brian Josselyn, Marsha Kaufman-Rubinstein, Kay Kenny, Barbara Tepper Levy, Yvette Lewis, Ulf Loven, Iain Machell, Ann Morris, Grey Morris, Hugh Morris, Michael Nelson, Gus Pedersen, Herb Perr, Bill Reinhart, Joan Reinmuth, Tad Richards, Prue See, Sarkis Simonian, Michael Sullivan Smith, Viorica Stan, Raymond J. Steiner, Marck Webster, Saundi Wilson, Jennifer Zackin and Carol Zaloom.
Many of the artists have been singled out recently in special ways. Michael Ciccone installed his sculpture Momentum on the Poughkeepsie side of Walkway over the Hudson. The sculpture is made from steel that was removed from the old bridge.
Hugh Morris was featured in the Chronogram Art Scene video series, and Joan Reinmuth has made jewelry for a New York City–based couture design house, Garo Sparo; her work can also be seen at Judah Leah on Partition Street, Saugerties. Josepha Gutelius’s painting “School Days” was a “Silver Award Winner”; Barbara Tepper Levy will exhibit new work at the 2016 Fall for Art in September; and Kay Kenny has been awarded the Griffin Museum of Photography Legacy prize. Many more of the Tour’s artists have been and continue to be recognized for their skill and ingenuity. The best way to hear their stories is to take the tour during the two days of open studios in August.
The level of talent, the range of creative expression, and the enthusiasm and commitment to art by the artists makes this event possible. Detailed information about the tour can be found on the Tour’s website—for more information contact event@saugertiesarttour. com.
Barbara Bravo is a Ceramic Artist and Coordinator of the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour.