Arts & Entertainment

Artists Studio Tour Fills SOMA with Art and Inspiration

Mikel Frank and Gerard Amsellem work on a painting at The Woodland
Susan Marx
Jon Schuhart
Suzanne Henning
Deborrah Markette

SOUTH ORANGE/MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The 11th annual South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour held on Sunday drew art fans from all over the region to meet local artists and experience their studio settings.  There were also group shows at The Baird in South Orange, The Woodland in Maplewood, 1978 Maplewood Arts Center and more. 

“You paint for yourself, but you also paint for other people to see,” said artist Susan Marx. “You put yourself on canvas and then put it out into the world.”

Artist Jon Schuhart of Maplewood was pleased with the turnout.  “Seems like a lot more people than last year,” he said.  An self-taught painter in many styles, Schuhart said likes to experiment in new styles and genres to expand his knowledge of techniques.

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Another Maplewood artist, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, enjoys getting feedback from visitors and other artists. “What you see is what you see.  People can point out things you might not notice about your own art,” she said. “It helps you come out of your comfort zone and gives you a challenge that helps you to grow.”

The tour included full-time professional artists and part-time artists as well.

Suzanne Henning went to school for art, but moved away from it for years. Now she is working at it again when she isn’t at work in one of two libraries. “When I am being creative, I am happy,” she said.

At The Woodland (formerly The Woman’s Club), Mikel Frank and Gerard Amsellem painted live on stage with live music for inspiration.

Deborrah Markette displayed both furniture and paintings.  “The two are very differenct but I love both,” she said.  “The furniture take a lot of planning, and the paintings are more spontaneous, fluid and expressive.”

The Studio Tour Committee for 2014 consisted of: Sandy Martiny and Geralyn Robinson, co-chairs; as well as Sybil Archibald, Bill Billec, Andrew Fishman, Mikel Frank, Melissa Hodge, Liz Leclair, Sara Mascarino, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, Nancy Sobieski, Emily Zacharias, and Bob Zuckerman.

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