Dutchess County artists open their studios to all
HARLEM VALLEY — The 2011 ArtEast Open Studio Tour held the first half of its two-weekend event on Saturday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, Oct. 16.More than a dozen artists in northeastern Dutchess County opened their studios to the public for a rare glimpse into their private work spaces and creative processes.The second half of the ArtEast tours will take place in southeastern Dutchess County on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.The free self-guided tours offer residents the opportunity to meet the artists working in the community and to gain a deeper understanding of the methods and techniques used by modern artists.The artists on the tour represented a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, ceramics and photography, and several different styles, such as abstract, surrealistic and photo-realistic.Artists from Millerton, Amenia, Wassaic, Dover Plains and Stanfordville participated in the first round of studio tours.Many of them said the people who visited the studios included other artists as well as art-lovers.“I came to be inspired by other artists,” said Oresta Szeparowycz, a local artist who was not showing her studio during the weekend. “I grabbed an idea from him from this painting,” she continued, gesturing to a colorful portrait painted by Amenia artist Peter Cascone.Szeparowycz said she enjoys visiting other artists so she can start a creative dialogue with them and generate new ideas. “We work in isolation most of the time,” she said, so she was enjoying the opportunity to interact and chat with other artists.“A lot of people don’t get into art because they’re not encouraged,” said Cascone, who explained how he delved into the artistic world after receiving encouragement earlier in life from friends and family. “Now I’m fearless when it comes to art. I do everything.”The artists spoke openly about their creative processes, inspirations and motivations for creating their works. The informal nature of the talks helped break down the bridges between the artists and other members in the community, hopefully revealing how inspiration is everywhere. Cascone showed his visitors photographs that have inspired him. He also showed books of his early sketches that he said he often returns to in order to rediscover his internal inspiration and bring his work full-circle.Brian Saltern, a Millerton artist who works with acrylic paints and experiments with mixed media, said he finds all of his inspiration from his daily life. His subjects include his pets, his friends and the wildlife that visit his picturesque plot of the Harlem Valley.Saltern said he needs to feel a strong connection to the subjects of his paintings in order to add and convey the soul of the work.He spoke freely with his visitors about his process and his final products, explaining that even when an element of the painting doesn’t turn out as originally planned, it always comes out just as the piece intended for itself to be.Saltern, who participated in the event for the second year in a row, said he enjoys being a part of the tour because of how it exposes the artist and gives the audience a chance to see things through the artist’s eyes.“Art is such a personal thing. It gets you in touch with the creative side of someone,” he said.Millerton painter David Crum has been an artist for almost 50 years, but this was his first time participating in the ArtEast Open Studio Tour.“When you show your work in your own space, you’re really on the spot,” he said, explaining that he enjoyed interacting with the community and sharing stories not only about local art, but also about the studio’s space and building, which he said were sometimes as much of a draw as the art.Crum explained that his visitors were very interested in meeting the artists and getting to know the setting that art is created in.“People who come really feel better about seeing art this way,” he said.For more information about the ArtEast tours, visit www.arteastdutchess.com.