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Bainbridge Island Studio Tour to open this weekend
It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, especially for Bainbridge art lovers, as the 2013 Winter Studio Tour begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6.
The much-loved holiday tradition, now in its 30th year, offers art enthusiasts the unique opportunity to take a self-paced tour through numerous island art studios, purchase custom works in a variety of mediums and meet with local artists.
“I think one of the nicest things is that you get to talk to the artists,” said studio tour manager Dinah Satterwhite. “It’s enriching to be able to buy something and be able to say, ‘I met the artist and I know why they choose to do this.’ It makes it extra special.”
The tour will feature 63 artists spread throughout nine studios.
Works on display and available for purchase will be from various mediums and disciplines such as paint, wood, clay, jewelry and prints. Participating artists include Pierr Morgan, Connie Castellano, Sandra Hall, Belinda Payne, Anne Vekklyn, Diana Cronin, Dick Strom, Eileen Sorg, Haden Starbuck, Robert Spangler and many more.
Each studio stop will feature several artists, who will all be available to talk with visitors about their work.
If two’s company, expect a crowd.
“The least amount of people would be four or five artists in one studio,” Satterwhite said. “All of the artists are there with their things and it gets really busy.”
The tour is self-guided and there is no admission fee. The studios are accessible by car or bike and will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8.
Many new artists will be on hand, including island artist Özlem Gültekin. She recently moved to Bainbridge from Turkey, and shares her traditional Turkish designs with impeccably detailed painted pottery. With a background in mechanical engineering, it’s no surprise her designs have a beautiful flow and balance to them.
Another fine artist to look for is Elizabeth VanDuine. Her work involves the intricate cutting out and removal of negative space in a paper design, with decorative papers added to the back with a likeness to stained glass. This paper cut work is an old Japanese art form called “Kirie.” Some of her work is backlit in a frame, and also available in creative gifts like candle holders and decorative lights.
Fully embracing the holiday spirit, each studio will be festively decorated and many are offering cookies, cider and other seasonal refreshments. Each studio will also be holding a raffle for a unique gift basket featuring contributed items from each artist in that specific studio.
Participating artists are invited to take part in the event only after having been accepted via a strict jurying process.
“Once you’ve applied, it goes through an anonymous process where you bring in several pieces of your work and three jurors come in looking at numbers, no names, and items,” Satterwhite explained. “They’re looking for originality, fine craftsmanship and work that reflects that the unique hand and spirit of the artist.”
The winter tour proved so popular that more than a decade ago the Studio Tour Board began a summer event as well.
“The summer one started 13 years ago in the second weekend of August,” Satterwhite said. “That one is meant to be a little bit more grassroots. The summer one came out of demands from our customers.”
It’s a demand that does not seem to have declined, as last year saw many people visiting the island just to take part in the tour, and this year promises to be even bigger.
Whether you’re looking for a special gift for the art lover on your list, something nice for yourself or just an enjoyable day on Bainbridge, the Winter Studio Tour has something for everybody.
For a complete list of participating artists and a tour route map with directions to each site, visit www.bistudiotour.com.