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Exposing art for a good cause

by Aggie Zaremba
Special to the DailyAnnie Gibbon, a plain-air painter, created this watercolor of a dome in Utah. Gibbon will have 13 watercolors on display at the upcoming Studio Tour.
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The upcoming sixth annual Studio Tour is keeping local artists busy.

For two days in November they will open their homes and studios to show how and where they live and work.

The event kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 8 and continues through Sunday, Nov. 9 from 11 a.m-4 p.m. Each participant of the tour will donate a piece of artwork for a silent auction preceding the event. The auction benefits the Rotary Club’s project to buy dictionaries for third-graders in the valley.

“Art is one of the positive aspects of our community,” said Versiellen, an artist and organizer of the tour. “There are many artists who were born and raised here. Our purpose is to bring to life art that already is in the valley. In the future, we would like to turn this event into an arts festival with music and guest authors – a major cultural festival of the Eagle Valley.”

The all-media tour will feature sculpture, pottery, iron artwork, paintings, photography, henna art and glass creations.

“I do acrylics,” said Versiellen. “I am known for my collection of angels. Lately, I’ve been inspired by our freedom fighters but I paint everything – abstracts, barns and mountains. I also make greeting cards.”

Another participant, Annie Gibbon, a plain-air painter, likes to bring local scenery to the viewer.

“It’s a beautiful area for an artist to live and work,” she said. “I don’t have a studio since I work outside. I’ll most probably share it with another artist. I’ll have 13 watercolors on display.”

Kate Tennant makes pottery and sculpts. Like Gibbon, Tennant will share her studio with an oil painter and a glass artist.

“The tour is a great opportunity for us to make the public aware that we are here and what we do,” she said. “We have a really nice, diverse community of artists. Our studio is a very good example of that – it’ll feature an interesting combination of media.”

April Nottingham, a glass blower, says she doesn’t have too many chances to take her torch to a show and demonstrate her art.

“I make glass beads, aromatherapy bottles and rings,” she said. “This event is a rare opportunity for the community to see us at work, in our own environments. I can’t take my torch to a regular exhibit. This time I’ll be able to show people the actual process of blowing glass.”

For Barbara Swope, henna artist, and Jon Shepard, an author and nature photographer, the tour is a great place to meet other local artists and share their artistic experiences with the community.

“I like to make demonstrations for kids,” said Swope. “Show them that they can express themselves in many different ways. As for my studio, it travels with me – it’s just a little basket with a bottle of henna. This year, my goal is to meet other artists and be more involved in the whole event. That’s why instead of staying at home I’ll join my colleagues displaying their works in one of Gypsum churches.”

The tour will be complimented with tasty treats and refreshments served by the artists at their homes and studios. The reception and a silent auction, will take place in the Studio at Brush Creek Park in Eagle on Thursday, Nov. 6 between 5-8 p.m. Additionally, throughout November the Avon Library will host “Bookcase Exhibit,” featuring works of the studio tour participants. For more information, call the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce at 328-5220 or Versiellen at 328-0466. Artists who would like to exhibit their art and help the Rotary Group with their project should contact Versiellen at 328-0466. The registration deadline for the event is Oct. 5.


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