Artists from the region open the studios to the public
Artists are special people. They are born with an eye that sees beyond the obvious. And they set about trying to show us this special vision that exists in their head. Sometimes they paint their vision on canvas or strive to bring the vision to life in stone or wood.
The problem, however, is not to communicate their particular vision; artists do this with their creations. The problem is to put this special creation in front of the eyes of others. This process involves marketing – a concept foreign to most artists.
The Hunterdon Art Tour, or THAT, is an attempt to liven up the marketing process. The idea is to organize a large group of artists around a date where everyone has an open house in their studio. Visitors choose which workshops to visit, meet the artists and see the creations.
This year the Hunterdon Art Tour will take place on Saturday and Sunday May 1 and 2. The tour is self-guided and presents the studios and exhibition spaces of more than 60 artists.
Artists who create in a wide range of media are included in the tour. Visitors walking through the entire tour will see painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, photography, furniture making, textiles, jewelry, and more.
Participating artists will be featured in a special exhibit at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton. This is the kickoff event for the weekend tour. The artists will present their works – for sale. This show will take place on Friday, April 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the museum.
Visit TheHunterdonArtTour.com for more information. You will find a complete directory of artists, photos of their works, as well as an interactive map to guide you throughout the visit.
Here is a list of several of the artists who will be opening their studios for the tour. Find them and dozens more on the website TheHunteronArtTour.com. Also this associates with other artistic organizations and has many sponsors.
• Val Sivilli is a well-known local painter, printmaker, writer and musician. His studio is at 692 Riegelsville Road, Milford. His studio is scheduled to open on Saturday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is best to call 908 268-2843 and make an appointment. Also visit ValSivilli.com.
The image of the boar stands tall in his works, reflecting the intersection between the wild and the domesticated in the animal kingdom. For perspective, think of the surly encounters between feral and domestic cats. She has a “Cat Fight” series and a “Beast” series.
Val was also inspired to create a series of books (available on Amazon). She has also worked on pieces involving large stitched papers, such as a collage that tells a story.
In 2016, she created THAT. With a group of dedicated artists, THAT has grown into the organization it is today.
“It gets bigger every year,” says Val. “It’s now in its fifth year. But it did not take place last year because of the pandemic. “
• Douglas Wright is an engineer turned furniture maker. His workshop is located at 50 Kingwood Ave. in Frenchtown. He opens the studio on Saturday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Doug makes dining tables, side tables, chairs and benches, cabinets and more. He will work with clients to produce the custom pieces they want, as long as the furniture is stand-alone. He does not integrate.
“I like to create furniture that is aesthetically interesting, functional and has structural integrity,” he says.
It uses North American hardwoods like black walnut, cherry and maple and some imported exotics for details and accents. Sometimes stone and glass find a place in his creations.
For more information, call Doug at 908-996-7025, and view the photos on his website, DouglasWrightFurniture.com.
• George Jarck is a painter whose studio is at 10 Hunting Hills Road, Annandale. It will welcome tour visitors on Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Every time I start a painting, I try to think about the shapes, shapes, subjects and colors that will reflect the sight and feeling I have at the moment,” he explains.
He is influenced by nature and landscapes. And he describes his style as a diverse impressionism.
“I think it’s important that the painting elicits an element of mystery, a thought or a question,” says George. “My work should be thought-provoking – not just a pretty picture.”
He studied painting for many years in Massachusetts and New York, and painted under the direction of many famous painters.
• Cara London is a painter whose studio is located at 106 Bertron Rd., Flemington. She will open her studio by appointment only on Saturday May 1 from 10 to 6 and again on Sunday May 2 from noon to 6 a.m. Contact her at [email protected] or call to arrange a visit – 908 500-0410.
“Painting is a natural medium for me,” explains Cara. “My works reflect the joy and struggle of the creative process.”
She works with oils and acrylics. For Cara, it is a continuous dialogue with the materials and the subject. Lately, she has been exploring pure abstraction.
Al Warr is a freelance columnist whose weekly business column appears in the Hunterdon County Democrat. Al can be reached at 610-253-0432 or [email protected].