Category Archives: Open Studios

Open Studios — in case you missed it

Opening my studio is one of the best parts of making art. As a member of the Bloomington Open Studios Tour collaborative, I open my studio to guests once a year. In case you missed it, here are some highlights. A very special THANK YOU to painter Dawn Adams, who took these images.

Mary Uthuppuru and guests having way too much fun.

My studio is in my home, a vintage 1976 four-level home. We transform our living room to a gallery space. This year I was joined by printmaker and book artist Mary Uthuppuru. The inclusion of 3D work and her infectious enthusiasm was a valuable addition to the weekend.

New artist in the studio

Mary Uthuppuru’s artist books and commonplace journals were fascinating to visitors.

Mary Uthuppuru brought her artist books and commonplace journals for the weekend. Mary began as a conservator at the IU Lilly Library, and became a full-time book artist and instructor in 2010.

In the studio downstairs, Mary and I displayed blocks in process. Here I have a block carved into linoleum (mounted on MDF.) Mary is creating a two-block image using MDF as the block itself.

Seeing how the monoprint collage is made

I was able to show visitors the components that go into my monoprint collages. I had both blank polycarbonate plates and one with a 1/16in chart tape matrix. People could see the tracing paper guides that I use for the irregular pieces, and touch the maps and monoprints that make up the material of the collages. Seeing things in process helped many people understand how I do what I do.

Collaborative collage takes over the studio

On the glass ink table, visitors had the opportunity to participate in a group collage. Monoprints, maps and handmade papers were available, along with tracing paper, scissors and glue sticks. A matrix was created with a square of Rives BFK and a Sharpie. People were encourages to collage some pieces onto the Rives. Mary is turning this collage into a creation that will be “auctioned” off on social media.

Whew! Another studio tours is complete. I talk more in this weekend than I do in a month at home in my studio. Sharing my work and talking with new visitors and familiar friends is such a gift to someone who creates mostly in isolation.

Time to put things away and get on to the new project!

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Creating art and celebrating community

One of the best things about printmaking is that you can replicate imagery — and it gives you the opportunity to create a collaborative art installation. I did this recently during the Bloomington Open Studios Tour (BOST) when I invited people to print flags. The results look fabulous, and the journey was meaningful as well.

flags two lines

The solar flags are now flying at First United Church, Bloomington, IN.

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Opening up the studio (and the house)

“How do you feel about opening your studio to the public?” was a question from a local journalist recently. I am on the steering committee of the Bloomington Open Studios Tour which is being held Saturday, June 4th (10am – 6pm) and Sunday, June 5th (10am – 4pm), 2016. When I wrote back, I said that I loved welcoming people to my studio because I enjoy showing what I do. Plus thinking as a business person, I know that people who make connections with the artists are more likely to buy art.

Welcoming people into your space makes you a little crazy — you see all of the dirt and imperfections a bit more clearly and have the irrational need to redecorate. When people come to my studio, they actually come into my house, so you can see the problem. With a little elbow grease and some strategically placed display panels, I’m able to welcome the public inside without feeling like everyone is in my private spaces. Here’s a quick tour:

Open studios hallway

You enter into my quad level house, and must descend to the studio.

People enter into my 1970’s era quad level house and can immediately go downstairs to see the studio. A display panel helps them not wander into our kitchen/dining room and see the breakfast dishes.

Going downstairs

Display panels help people not get lost on their descent.

A quick turn and people are down half-a-level, guided away from the TV, past my washer and dryer, and into my basement studio.

2016 Studio

The studio is ready for printing solar flags.

My studio is swept, de-spidered, and ready for visitors. This year we are printing solar flags, an homage to prayer flags.  The solar flags are to celebrate the solar array that is being installed at First United Church, Bloomington — which provides our open studios committee with a place to meet for free. I’ll share more about the flags in another blog. After printing, talking about inks and presses and looking at my inspiration wall, people can head back upstairs…

living room 2016

Our living room gets transformed into a small gallery.

We have turned our living room into a small gallery, complete with framed and unframed work. People can have a quick snack and beverage, rest in the air conditioning and chat with my husband, who is my invaluable assistant for the weekend. Setting up for this event does take some time, but I enjoy being able to share a great deal about my art — and my life — with visitors.

yard 2016

My yard, very recently spiffed up by New Leaf Landscaping Consulting. My family and my thumbs so appreciate their work.

If you are in Bloomington this weekend, please stop by and say hello. I’m at 4324 E Beacon Ct.

You can find out about all the participating artists at BloomingtonOpenStudiosTour.com.

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Open Studios are awesome

It has been a long time since I worked 14 to 16 hour days at this pace — perhaps going back to graduate school…or the early months of motherhood. I’ve been preparing for a show at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center which opened Friday will hang through July 26th.

I am now in the midst of the Bloomington Open Studios Tour. The traffic is light on Sunday mornings, so I thought I would post some images of what an Open Studios looks like. I’ve talked more in the past 48 hours than I have in the past four months, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

The front walk is weeded and ready to welcome people to my home studio.

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