Open Stu­dio Tour shows new artists in new spa­ces

Tour in its 28th year has 150 par­tic­i­pants across the city

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - MARYLAND - By Sarah Mee­han smee­[email protected]­sun.com twit­ter.com/sarahvmee­han

Tif­fany Lange is piec­ing to­gether gi­ant wal­nuts and horse fig­urines that will soon be on stage when the Chicago-based Jof­frey Bal­let opens its pro­duc­tion of “The Nutcracker” in De­cem­ber.

On Satur­day the pup­peteer was work­ing with two as­sis­tants, pa­pier-macheing, paint­ing and carv­ing foam with an elec­tric carv­ing knife to bring the set pieces to life while vis­i­tors passed through her stu­dio at the Cre­ative Al­liance.

Lange is among 150 artists par­tic­i­pat­ing in the 28th an­nual Open Stu­dio Tour, a pro­gram or­ga­nized by School 33 Art Cen­ter. The tour, which con­tin­ues to­day, in­cludes artists across the city open­ing their stu­dios to the pub­lic.

“Pup­pets have al­ways been a big draw to get folks that have not ex­pe­ri­enced the Open Stu­dio Tour ... into a stu­dio like this, to get them tour­ing around,” Lange said.

“It’s a lit­tle less tra­di­tional than your painter or your pho­tog­ra­pher.”

Yet there are plenty of those, too. Lange is one of eight artists in res­i­dence at the Cre­ative Al­liance in High­land­town, just down the hall from artists such as painter Al­fonso Fer­nan­dez, sculp­tor Alice Gadzin­ski and pho­tog­ra­pher Adam Davies, all re­cent ad­di­tions to the build­ing.

“For us it’s a great way for peo­ple to come and see the new and artis­tic ta­lent,” said Jeremy Stern, ex­hibits and pro­gram man­ager for the Cre­ative Al­liance.

Lange has par­tic­i­pated in the tour be­fore. But at least 20 new artists joined this year.

“It’s grown a lit­tle bit ev­ery year,” said Flan­nery Winch­ester, cul­tural af­fairs as­so­ciate for the Bal­ti­more Of­fice of Pro­mo­tion and the Arts.

Cheeny Cel­e­brado-Royer and Taha Hey­dari, who share a stu­dio at School 33, are among the new­est artists in the Fed­eral Hill build­ing. The re­cent Mary­land In­sti­tute Col­lege of Art grad­u­ates moved into the space in mid-Au­gust, and it’s the first time they have par­tic­i­pated in the Open Stu­dio Tour.

“I think a lot of the artists who stay in Bal­ti­more do a lot for the city and it doesn’t get no­ticed,” said Cel­e­brado-Royer, who be­lieves the tour “opens up a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the pub­lic and the artists, and also shar­ing what we do and how we can po­ten­tially work to­gether as a com­mu­nity to help the city.”

The tour kicked off with par­ties Fri­day in Hampden, High­land­town, Pig­town and Sta­tion North.

Lange said this type of out­reach is some­thing she’d like to see more of­ten, rather than once a year. “To have open gal­leries, open stu­dios al­most like on a more reg­u­lar monthly ba­sis would be great, and con­tinue to help the arts grow in Bal­ti­more,” she said.

This year’s tour fea­tures artists from ab­stract painters to fur­ni­ture mak­ers. Gadzin­ski, a pa­per­ma­che artist, is an­other new face on the tour. She de­scribes her whim­si­cal work “like if Lawrence Welk and ‘Pee-Wee’s Play­house’ like were in a car ac­ci­dent.”

“I think this kind of thing works bet­ter than a gallery show be­cause this feels more hon­est, what­ever that means,” she said. “My work in a gallery show can look very like, not as fun as the en­vi­ron­ment I make it in.’”

This year’s tour in­cludes new spa­ces in ad­di­tion to new artists. Mo­tor House, an arts in­cu­ba­tor in Sta­tion North, is open­ing its doors to the pub­lic.

And the Foundery in Port Cov­ing­ton joined for the first time as the only arts “maker space” on the tour. The Foundery will of­fer work­shops to­day on laser-en­grav­ing pump­kins, power tool pump­kin carv­ing and 3-D print­ing for the pub­lic to ob­serve.

“They’re a very di­verse group of artists, and they all work with very, very dif­fer­ent ma­te­rial,” Winch­ester said. “So you’re go­ing to see just a lot of re­ally dif­fer­ent tech­niques and ma­te­ri­als.”

The Open Stu­dio Tour con­tin­ues 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to­day. Spe­cific stu­dios’ hours are listed at school33.org.

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