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.
“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:
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.