Did you see our brochure? Better yet, did you come on the tour? If not, join us for the next one (read on for details …)
It was all quite exhilarating. In the space of a few weeks, sixteen local artists—painters, sculptors, ceramicists, photographers, and a clockmaker —found each other, planned a tour, designed and printed a brochure, solicited local advertising to pay for it, created signs, and placed 10,000 aubergine-colored brochures in local shops from Kingston to Beacon announcing the ‘2nd GARDINER OPEN STUDIO TOUR’ on the weekend of May 3rd and 4th.
Best of all, it was a success. The tour was free, and self-guided. You followed the route (there were little bios of each of us and an image of our work) and dropped in to see the artist and the art where it was created.
Since we didn’t sell tickets, we don’t know exactly how many people came, but over the two days, I welcomed around 100 visitors to my studio, where I did a little demonstration about encaustic (molten beeswax) painting. Other artists talked about making pottery or painting in pastels. People loved seeing how art is made.
You’ll note that this was the second Gardiner Open Studio Tour. The first, on a smaller scale, took place on the Columbus Day weekend last October. The prime movers were Andrea McFarland (painter), Jonathan Pazer (art photography), Kenneth Aspin (graphics), and Donna Manger-Weil (painter), whose gallery on Bruynswick Road served as headquarters for our planning sessions. From the first group of seven artists we have now grown to sixteen.
And the name? I’m told it was invented on the spot, from the initials of the event —Gardiner Open Studio Tour, or GOST—and because, last October, the word suited the season. It has stuck, and we now have a website, www.GOSTartists.org, which we hope you will visit to become better acquainted with your neighbor artists and their work.
We plan to make GOST tours bi-annual events—one in early May, the other over Columbus Day—so we hope to see you in our studios this Columbus Day!