See artworks in the making at New Paltz Open Studio Tour

Top row (L-R): Barbara Holt, tour organizer Sylvia Diaz, Susan Slotnick, Judith Hoyt, Amy Dooley, Doug Motel, Norine Muhlfeld and Stuart Bigley. Bottom row (L-R): Marcy Bernstein, Jill Ziccardi, Deborah Goldman, Stacie Flint and Helene Bigley. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

When Sylvia Diaz and her daughter relocated from Dutchess County to New Paltz a couple of years back, they immediately began networking with other working artists in the community. “We heard about an art studio tour in one of the nearby towns — it might’ve been Gardiner — and wondered, ‘Where’s New Paltz’s?’” Diaz recalls. Plenty of local artists wanted just such a thing to happen, it turned out, but for some reason it had never materialized. So she sprang into action, word-of-mouth spread like wildfire and last year, the first annual New Paltz Open Studio Tour (NPOST) took place.

The collaborative event returns for its second go-round on the weekend on September 29 and 30, with a preview party taking place at the Unison Arts Center on the Friday evening preceding. And NPOST is already growing by leaps and bounds. “Last year we had 17 professional artists; this year we have 26, plus eight emerging artists and at least two student artists, probably more,” says Diaz, who now wears the hat of promotions director for NPOST.

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From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the 26 participating artists will either have their own studios open to the public, or be exhibiting their work collectively in pop-up galleries or other spaces on loan for the tour. Five galleries will be participating: Unison, Roost Studios and the Mark Gruber Gallery in New Paltz, Victoria Gardens in Rosendale and Café Arts in Highland. SUNY New Paltz, Historic Huguenot Street and the Denizen Theater will be among the other spaces showcasing work for artists who don’t have their own studios. Artworks will represent a broad range of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media, photography and printmaking.

The professional artists showing their work are Jim Adair, Rosalind Bank, Marcy Bernstein, Helene Bigley, Stuart Bigley, Chris Bowman, Jacinta Bunnell, Nancy Cohen, Carl Cox, Amy Dooley, Stacie Flint, Deborah Goldman, Bonnie S. Gulden, Barbara Holt, David K. Holt, Judith Hoyt, Selma Karaca, Paul Keskey, Chloe Mosbacher, Doug Motel, Norine Muhlfeld, Archil Pichkhadze, Maureen Rogers, Susan Slotnick, Jerry Teters and Jill Ziccardi. The “emerging” artists, generally aged 21 to 30 and chosen by jury, include Dorothy Broadhead, Haley Carlisle, Karen Jaimes, Geuryung Lee, Dayna Peters, Maria Rigden and Andrew Sartorius. Amelia Audette-Diaz and Maya Greenfield are the two student participants identified at presstime; interested student artists may still apply for inclusion in the tour by contacting Diaz at (845) 489-5822 or syldiaz@optonline.net.

At least one example of the work of each artist on the tour will be on view on Friday, September 28 from 6 to 8 p.m., when Unison hosts an opening reception in its gallery. It’s free and open to the public, and will feature live music, wine and finger-food. The Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road.

How does one find the studios and other exhibition locations that will be accessible during the self-guided New Paltz Open Studio Tour? Just look around for a copy of the eyecatching NPOST 2018 booklet that can be found at the Mark Gruber Gallery, Roost Studio and Art Gallery and in many New Paltz, Rosendale and Highland shops. It includes a map and all the pertinent addresses and “shouldn’t be hard to find,” according to Diaz.

Besides having pieces on view and for sale, the participating artists will also, in most cases, have “something in process,” Diaz notes. “We encourage everyone to have a demo going on.” So here’s your chance to get a close look at the magic that goes on behind the scenes in the making of a work of art. To find out more, visit www.newpaltzopenstudiotour.com or www.facebook.com/npopenstudiotour.