The 4th Annual ARTsee Open Studio will take place the weekend of October 4th and 5th from noon to 5:00pm. Eighteen artists in Bernardsville and Bernards Township will open their private studio doors to the public or be featured at Farmstead Arts, all in a self-paced tour that is free to the public.
The ARTsee Open Studio Tour is sponsored by a group of local artists established in 2010 by founders Caren Frost Olmsted and Gail Mardfin who have handed over the reigns to co-coordinators Susanna Kopchains, Brigid Glynn-Young and Alex Bigatti.
The group's mission is the fostering of artistic expression, the promotion of visual artists who live and work in our area, and the creation of art-based community events. With similar goals, Farmstead Arts, on King George Road in Basking Ridge, is partner and supporter of the ARTsee Tour.
Participating artists, including some new and different from last year’s tour, are individuals with well established careers, as well as emerging artists. A wide variety of media will be represented: oil, watercolor, and acrylic painting; photography; ceramics, fiber art, and jewelry; collage, mixed media, and pressed botanicals. The artwork spans from traditional styles of representation to abstraction. Be prepared for the unexpected, as artists' studios are just as likely to be found in living spaces as they are above garages and in basements.
ARTsee co-founder Caren Frost-Olmstead, a Basking Ridge resident and a veteran of past tours, said, "There's nothing quite like looking around my studio and seeing a crowd of smiling faces, getting to enjoy art in an easy, casual and approachable manner. Just feels good! After three years, I am taking a break from being on the tour so that I can experience it from the other side! Join me!"
Bernardsville artists include Susan Gast (painted images inspired by nature); Gail Mardfin (joy-filled acrylic paintings and collages) shared with Arturo Moreno (colorful abstracts and figure drawings); Sonja Kuhfahl (acrylics, watercolor, mixed media); Brigid Glynn-Young (vibrant spiritual drawings).
In Basking Ridge visit Tammy DeVoe (abstract landscape paintings); Beth Murphy (pressed botanical collages) shared with Vicky Knowles (surreal, humorous animal art, jewelry and miniatures); Alex Bigatti (colorful oils and abstract acrylics); Anjali Shalit (art jewerey and 3D collage); Mahvash Saba (fine art photography).
In Far Hills you will find artists AnnaVranckx (Acrylic paintings, handcrafted jewelry, mixed media and sculpture); Susanna Kopchains (functional and sculptural ceramics) shared with Kevin Eberle (landscape and North American travel photography).
At The Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge you can see the work of the Artists-in-Residence Lorraine Nevers (oil paintings on canvas), and Regina DeFrancisco (Asian florals and landscapes) along with visiting artists Joanne Devine (Photography) and Anthony Galati (realistic but unique oil paintings of landscapes and figures).
With studio locations throughout picturesque and historic Bernardsville and Bernards Township, this free, self-paced tour is the perfect way for visitors to spend a leisurely early autumn weekend. No reservations required - just come and enjoy.
ARTsee artist Beth Murphy says , "ARTsee is a great opportunity for community engagement through the arts. As an artist, it allows me to share my work with people who might otherwise not have had the chance to see it and to meet a wide range of people who appreciate and participate in the arts. It is an energetic, exciting experience for artists and visitors. " Murphy says, "When visitors come to my Beth Murphy Botanicals studio, they can expect to see many new pressed botanical collages, notecards, bookmarks and a few other items. Welcome all!"
The ARTsee Tour amazes, fascinates and inspires. Debbie Durand of Elizabeth who has attended the tour in previous years said, "the ARTseeTour is not-to-be-missed! It's fascinating to see the artists in their studios and the variety of work is amazing. I can't think of a better way to spend an autumn day wandering along the ARTseeTour!" Another attendee Pegg Lyons-Roehm of Watchung says, "What an inspiration ARTsee has been to me! Not only did it reunite me with some college buddies...but taking the tour reminded me, I can pursue those passions that have been on hold for so long."
Artist Tammy DeVoe, new to the tour this year, says, "I was so surprised that there was such a thriving creative art community in this area. Moving here from Manhattan, I surely did not expect to find so many active artists. It has been so nice to be connected with people, share gallery and promotional opportunities, support successes and learn from all of the varied work."
Also new to the tour is Artist -in-Residence at the Farmstead, Regina DeFrancisco, "This is my first year as a participant in ARTsee. All of the artists have been welcoming as well as generous with their time and talent. I am so happy to be a member of such an interesting group."
There is wide and rich diversity of art work being produced locally.
Co-Coordinator Susanna Kopchains, an award winning ceramic artist says, "Joining ARTsee has opened up a new world for me. I've gotten to know some wonderful artists in these two towns and learned a lot about the art world. Getting to share what I do with others and how I do it is very rewarding. By preparing to open my studio space to the public, it has challenged me to grow as an artist."
Excitement is in the air as local artists prepare to open their studios and welcome the public. Co-founder Gail Marfin says, "Though the ARTsee Open Studio Tour is a lot of work to get ready for and to promote, it's such a rewarding weekend, having so many art appreciators of all ages stopping by to visit my studio. I'm in a great location -- right across from the Claremont Tavern -- and this year will be even more fun because my boyfriend Arturo Moreno will be sharing the space with me. Our work is very different, so people will see a good example of how varied artists' art can be!"
Co-coordinator Alex Bigatti says, "The ARTsee Open Studio Tour has been an exciting part of my life as a Basking Ridge artist for the past three years! Opening my studio to the public gave me the chance to share with the community, in a very engaging way, what I love to do the most: painting, drawing and expressing myself through different types of visual arts. From the hectic "OMG I need to clean my studio!" prep stage to the magic Fall-is-in-the-air weekend when I have everything ready, I'm always thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome so many art lovers, curious folks and families that stop by, and I feel grateful and accomplished by the time I close the door on Sunday evening." Bigatti says, "I am now getting ready for this year. I am in that OMG stage but my enthusiasm is high and I'm enjoying every step of the way!"