Local artists open their studios for the Artist Studio Tour and Sale
By Lara Donnelly
Yellow Springs is a town known for its eclectic and elegant art scene. But how many times do visitors get to meet the artists? The Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour and Sale makes that possible, and art-lovers in the area certainly take notice. People come from all over the state to get their chance at a peek into local artists’ worlds.
The tour is organized by Lisa Goldberg and Pam Geisel, both Yellow Springs artists. Goldberg creates unique ceramics, and Geisel is an unconventional and talented quilter. They take on the task of recruiting Ohio artists with impressive portfolios and this year they have definitely succeeded.
This tour will be the 11th, a testament to the ongoing popularity of the event. This year, 27 artists will show their work in eight different locations, in “more mediums that we’ve ever had,” said Goldberg.
Artists like the studio tour because it gets their names out in the Dayton area. They can talk to visitors about custom work and commissions, or just build relationships with future customers.
It’s also a good time for amateur art lovers to get to know artists and their processes. The studio tour demystifies the art world for visitors, and answers some questions about the price of fine art.
“The more we can educate them,” said Goldberg, “the more they understand why what we make and sell does not cost the same as what Target makes and sells.” She went on to mention the costs of equipment and raw materials, as well as the time and effort artists put into their work.
Alice Basora Young, a jeweler and bead-maker, is returning to the tour for her second year. She said she enjoys establishing a rapport with people who come to see her on the tour. One woman she met on last year’s tour has come to every one of her shows since then, sometimes just to say “Hi.”
Basora Young also looks at the tour as an opportunity for education. “I think there’s a lot of people interested in how [art] is made, rather than just what it looks like,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of people interested in how I do what I do.”
Basora Young is one of just many interesting artists on the studio tour. Geisel and Goldberg will both be showing their art, along with an encaustic painter, a sculptor, a printer, several potters and many more.
With so many participating artists, space is an issue. Visitors would never have time to visit 27 different studios. In recent years, the studio tour has morphed to accommodate multiple artists in each studio. This year, for instance, Geisel will share her quilting studio with a potter, a painter and an artist who creates unique glass lampwork beads.
“It’s a bigger draw” if there are several kinds of art at a location, Geisel said. “What if someone doesn’t like quilts but likes beads?” If they come for the glass beads, she said, they might end up liking the quilts and paintings too.
Grouping the artists together has been fun for them too.
“We get to meet artists that we wouldn’t necessarily know,” said Goldberg.
Because artists are attached to their studios all weekend, they can’t go out and take the tour. With more than one artist in each studio, artists get to see some of the outstanding variety of work on display.
And it is outstanding. Many of the artists on the studio tour don’t show their work very often. For a few of them, the tour is one of the only times the public can see their work. For instance, said Goldberg, one of the potters, Kevin Tunstall, “is coming back from a long break [from potting] with a totally new line of work that has only been shown once before, for two hours.”
If the studio tour is sounding like a good weekend activity, write it on your calendar now and start making your reservations. Shops, restaurants and parking spaces fill up quickly.
“You can’t get into the Winds if you don’t have a reservation,” said Geisel.
Goldberg added that business owners in Yellow Springs say it is one of their busiest weekends of the year.
Even if you can’t find an empty seat in any of the local restaurants, no one leaves the studio tour hungry. Each studio will provide some food and drinks for guests. Goldberg said that there is usually a glut of seasonally spiced cider from Pfieffer Orchards, just outside of town.
The Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour and Sale will take place Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring their curiosity, questions and love of art. The artists will be happy to teach, sell and talk shop. For more information on the Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour and Sale, visit www.ysarts.org.
Reach DCP freelance writer Lara Donnelly at LaraDonnelly@DaytonCityPaper.com.