Backstage Pass To Creative Process: Bloomington Open Studios

Basement studios joined established art spaces to host visitors for the third annual Bloomington Open Studios Tour last weekend.

  • Kim Hahn shows paintings

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Painter Kim Hahn offers insight into her oil paintings during the open studios tour.

  • artists' materials and paintings

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    In Sarah Pearce's studio, works in progress--painted using a stencil made from construction fencing--were on display.

  • A view inside a participating studio

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    The Bloomington Open Studios tour offers the opportunity to see works in progress in the spaces where they are created.

  • paintings representing international postage stamps from the painter's childhood collection

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    A recent series of paintings by Sarah Pearce was inspired by the international postage stamps she collected as a child.

  • Sarah Pearce displays a painting from her abalone-shell series in her studio.

    Image 5 of 16

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Sarah Pearce displays a painting from her abalone-shell series in her studio.

  • papercuts

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Kim Hahn demonstrated her papercut technique to visitors during the weekend open studio tour.

  • visitor chat in artist's studio

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Unlike a gallery opening, the open studios tour takes visitors behind the scenes of the creative process.

  • people in studio with paintings

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    The painter Meg Lagodzki plays host to tour visitors.

  • paintings of chairs

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Two paintings by Meg Lagodzki on view in her studio during the tour.

  • two people in front of paintings

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Painter Meg Lagodzki entertains visitors to her home-based studio.

  • ceramic glazed bowls

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Marci Neiditz's ceramic pots on display in her studio during the tour.

  • young visitors get their hands dirty with clay

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Young visitors to Marci Neiditz' studio had the chance to dig into some clay.

  • little ceramic narwhals

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Tiny tusked ceramic creatures by Marci Neiditz on display in her studio during the tour.

  • two artists in studio

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Artists Ruth Conway and Marci Neiditz shared studio space for the tour.

  • color scarves

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Textile artist Suzanne Halvorson displayed her woven scarves during the studio tour.

  • two artists in studio

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    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Textile artists Suzanne Halvorson and Linda Knudsen shared a studio space for the tour.

A relative newcomer to the local arts scene, the third annual Bloomington Open Studios Tour took place Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, 2014.  In a town that teems with art showcases–from the upcoming Arts Fair on the Square (Saturday, June 21) to the Local Clay Potters Guild Show in November–the open studios tour distinguishes itself with the opportunity it affords art lovers to step inside the art-making process.

Visitors to 20 different venues all across Bloomington and Monroe County were able to see the spaces where 40 professional artists work, watch demonstrations of their craft, and glimpse works-in-progress.  Several printmakers along the route gave visitors the opportunity to ink up linoleum plates and run them through the press.  Ceramicists invited visitors to roll up their sleeves and sink their hands into mounds of clay, which they’d fire up for them.

In addition to established studio spaces–such as the I. Fell Building–the tour included out-of-the-way studios down wooded lanes and unprepossessing basement workshops on suburban cul-de-sacs, effectively transforming–at least for the weekend–a familiar landscape into a constellation of different landmarks, connected by visual arts.

Yaël Ksander

WFIU's Arts Desk Editor, Yaël seeks out and shepherds the stories of artists, musicians, writers, and other creative people. In addition, Yaël co-hosts A Moment of Science, writes essays for A Moment of Indiana History, produces Speak Your Mind (WFIU's guest editorial segment), hosts music and news hours throughout the week, and lends her voice to everything from accounting courses to nature documentaries. Yaël holds a MFA in painting from Indiana University, an MA in art history from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where she studied languages and literature.

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