Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Studio Gallery Demo Weekend for Artists Interactive

As I’ve discussed in earlier posts, I am a member of a small artist cooperative gallery in Boulder Junction Wisconsin. The Studio Gallery is in it's 15th season and currently features the work of 11 local artists. The gallery is located in a former railroad wash house building in the backyard of the Outdoorsmen Restaurant. The space is intimate, casual and full of great energy. The 2009 Studio Gallery members are: Toni Bergeon (Art Quilts), Louise Engelbrecht (Handwovens, Painting & Collage), Amy Higgason (Pottery), Debra Ketchum Jircik (Collage & Clay), Kathleen Kimball (Handcrafted Soap & Collage), Carol Miller (Photography), Jane O’Brien (Watermedia), Wendy Powalisz (Beaded Jewelry & Watercolors), Nancy Shoop (Pottery), Shirley Surges (Watermedia) and Jan Zindel (Handwovens & Socks)

Last weekend the gallery participated in the first of 2 demo weekends for the Artists Interactive program. The purpose of the Artist Interactive program is to generate traffic for art events around the northwoods, to introduce artists and the art making processes to the general public and to generate a new revenue source for artists at a slower time of year. There is no space inside our tiny gallery to do demonstrations so we set up a tent in the front yard of the restaurant. 5 of the Studio Gallery’s artists worked on a variety of art projects during 2 cold and windy days last weekend.

Here are some photo highlights from the weekend.

Instead of dragging a whole clay studio with me, I decided to draw on Clayboard®. The technique and imagery is very similar to the scrafitto drawings I carve on pots. I use a sharp tool to scratch away the black and reveal the white underneath. I have developed a series of drawings. I am printing these illustrations on cards to sell at shows and in galleries that carry my pottery.

Wendy Powalisz paints natural and abstract themes in a loose free flowing style. Her watercolors are typically vibrant and colorful. She is also currently experimenting on a series of "black only" watercolors.

Jan Zindel is a weaver and fiber artist. Here she demonstrates on a 1908 Gearhart Sock Knitting Machine. You can find Jan’s blog at

Kathleen Kimball was in charge of the gallery on saturday. She passed the time between customers with us, knitting and chatting about art on the front lawn. One of the nicest parts of the weekend was the time we spent talking about our struggles and triumphs. We are a great group of artists spread out over a distance of 75 miles. It is rare that we get to spend time together. So the time that weekend was valuable even though the turnout for this event was very small. There will be another Studio Gallery Artist Demo Weekend on June 26, 27 & 28th. We’re hoping for better weather, more artists and a bigger audience. I'll keep you posted.

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