Enter the inside of an artist’s mind. Studio Tour 2013.


By: Jennifer Clark

Ned Wert. Kimono Point 30x40.

Ned Wert. Kimono Point 30×40.

I have always loved art…of all forms. Memories of my youth are commonly filled with scenes of me at the kitchen table, a paintbrush or pencil in hand moving swiftly across a previously blank canvas.

I appreciate the way art makes me feel; I appreciate its general presence especially in an empty room, and I appreciate trying to figure out what the artist is trying to interpret.

Every artist has a special place where they go to create, and sometimes that space is right in their home.

This weekend, as artists open their work space to the public during the IAC’s Artist Open Studio Tour from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on both Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th, take this invitation as an opportunity. It is not every day that one has the chance to directly speak with the artist about his or her work.

Michael Smithhammer. Calm II.

Michael Smithhammer. Calm II.

I truly believe art has such a positive impact on society, but this encouraging impression is not on the surface of our daily thoughts. Instead, we are worrying about the next errand we have to run, the next assignment due at work, that doctor’s appointment we’ve putting off. So, naturally, I think this tour is a great idea. I challenge everyone this weekend to drop their plans to go visit some of these studios.

With works like those from Michael Smithammer , a second-time tour participant and ceramic artist who has been in galleries on and off for about 20 years now and has even done expeditions in Japan; his wife, Fuyuko Matsubara, who focuses on a large range of textile compositions including designing and making clothing; Ned Wert, an abstract painter who’s medium of choice is acrylic; Anthony “Tony” DeFurio, who’s oil paintings of landscapes hope to capture an emotional response from the viewer; along with 10 other artists, there is much to see.

Tony DeFurio. Oil on canvas.

Tony DeFurio. Oil on canvas.

“We want the people to come to where we work,” Ned Wert, one of the tour originators said. “[And] it makes for a beautiful drive.”

This beautiful drive is why the tour always takes place during the fall season. During this time, Indiana County boasts of charming side-road sceneries with rolling hills and fields dusted with colorful trees. The drive to the various studios is part of the entire experience. And all studios are within the area; therefore, they are all relatively close to one another.

The event, which was developed more than 20 years ago, is not only a time for the community to see the work of local artist’s and the process behind their art but also for those who are passionate about creating and are looking for insight on future possibilities for themselves.

Michael Smithhammer. Luminary V.

Michael Smithhammer. Luminary V.

“Any young person in art should go,” Tony said. “It’s important to see the artist’s experience, [and] artists are very accommodating to each other.”

Ned added, “Many people think if you go into art that you have to be a graphic artist, but we are trying to maintain caliber of traditional art.”

“It’s good to let people know there is a way to survive doing this,” Smithhammer also said of the topic.

Many of the artist’s showcasing have about 25 years of experience or more and have been sponsored by several other galleries, some just state-wide, some nationally and others even internationally.

Tony DeFurio. Oil on canvas.

Tony DeFurio. Oil on canvas.

So, why should you go?

“You have the opportunity to go into a place where people are [exerting] their heart and soul. You can see why something was created, which will open your perceptions as to what created objects can be” –Smithhammer

“This is a great resource for the community. It’s good for the public to know what people they pass on the street are doing.” – DeFurio

“[Art is] an enrichment thing. Having the arts in your life in general rounds out who you are. It helps to round ourselves out as individuals.” – Wert

Ned Wert. Fictional Heroes 16x16.

Ned Wert. Fictional Heroes 16×16.

Inspiring. Educational. Enlightening.

Don’t miss this year’s Studio Tour.

Make the time to stop and smell the flowers this weekend…and view some art.

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