This past month has been filled with new types of art happenings being produced in virtual formats. Facebook live, Instagram stories, Zoom meetings, fill up the days working from home and keep us connected to artists and art lovers. We are all getting very familiar with the protocol of talking to a group of mini boxes filled with friends. We stop and start, mute and unmute, schedule and show up to all sorts of art-related viewings during our days. The content branded with the #studio23onthego and #makeartvirtual grows daily and if you viewed each offering, I feel you become an artist through osmosis.
I have been blessed to know many artists in my life and I find them extremely generous to open their hearts, homes and studios to the art audience. Our virtual studio tours have proved to be very popular Facebook live events. This past month we have had two tours in our Great Lakes Bay Region. Open studio tours have always been a popular road trip happening but in this day and age we adapted with the next best thing-Facebook live tours. Productions such as this can be filmed using an iPhone or iPad, a password clearance to go directly to a page and just a bit of rehearsal to set the timing and sound.
Our tour with Misty Grumbley started with her and her cat on the beautiful landing of her Victorian home in Saginaw. Misty is one of our 50 Artists of the Great Lakes Bay Region. As if we were there in person, she graciously toured us through the home, taking time to point out cherished artwork from artist friends she has studied with or been taught by. Her warmth and poise made me feel as if we would sit down for tea at any moment and when we entered her dark room and studio I wanted to hear all the details of her creative process. Many viewers were privileged to view live that afternoon and now you can access that same video on our Facebook page and leave comments.
Our second tour takes us to an historic farm near Bridgeport, Michigan. This farm and studio tour was hosted by Doug Barron and Brian Goff. They are both part of our 50 Artists of the Great Lakes Bay Region and they work in oils on plein air and studio paintings. We start in their elegant parlor/studio filled with wonderful paintings and they both shared their painting process and concepts. The organization of the studio space was very impressive to me as it seemed every canvas, brush and tube of paint was positioned for easy access. In other words every item had it’s place of honor near the easels. Once outside, Doug and Brian took turns filming the tour so we had the sense of walking across the farmland and we could enjoy the gardens and outbuildings. What a wonderful way to escape while still being tucked away in our homes. The wind was blowing, the sky was blue and it was a refreshing way to spend time together. Many flowers and plants were identified along the way. The big trick up their sleeves at the end was a surprise visit with their chickens from the coop. Delightful! You can check out their video on our Facebook page and even leave comments with questions.
We look forward to bringing you more virtual events in the future as well as anticipate the day we can gather at Studio 23 again. Some items on the horizon include artwork displayed in our large gallery windows as part of our “Walk-a-bout Gallery for sidewalk shoppers walking the neighborhood and our Painters and Potters artwork inside starting July 9, 2020.
We are part of the Smile program with Amazon. Please think about this as you are shopping this spring and summer. All you have to do is go to smile.amazon.com and select Studio 23 as your nonprofit charity organization. Thank you for all you do for our art center!
Kind regards and Stay Safe,
Valerie Allen, curator