Brattleboro-West Arts to hold sixth Open Studio Tour
A carved plant pitcher set by Naomi Lindenfeld will be one of the pieces on display at the Brattleboro-West Arts Open Studio Tour.

Brattleboro-West Arts to hold sixth Open Studio Tour

WEST BRATTLEBORO — For the sixth year, the 2014 Brattleboro-West Arts Open Studio Tour on Sept. 27-28 will offer the public a window on the creative process and an intimate look into the environments where art happens.

New this year, BWA welcomes guest artists from outside the group to show their work on the tour.

Fourteen artists will show their work and demonstrate their craft from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at 11 locations, many of them along the dirt roads that wind among the wooded hills of West Brattleboro and Marlboro.

Brattleboro-West Arts is a group of about three dozen artists who create their art and make their homes within the watershed of the Whetstone Brook. During the tour, visitors will have the chance to view, buy and learn about a diverse selection of art and craft items, including pottery, metalwork, paintings, sculpture, woodworking and jewelry.

This year, the tour will feature three artists who have not participated in past tours.

BWA member Michel Moyse, who founded the Center for Digital Arts in Brattleboro's Cotton Mill Hill, will open his West Brattleboro studio to offer a look at his digital artwork and paintings.

Also, potters Sarah Heimann of Lebanon, N.H., and Stephen Procter of Brattleboro will exhibit their work at the tour sites of BWA potters Naomi Lindenfeld and Walter Slowinski, respectively.

“I am looking forward to the conversations that unfold over a weekend,” Heimann said, “the opportunity to spend extended time with an artist whose work I respect, meet the people who are drawn to her pieces.”

She said that sharing Lindenfeld's studio space will allow for a different sort of conversation - between the two potters' work.

“There are commonalities in our work,” she said. “We share an appreciation of the natural world, taking aspects of growth and pattern into our forms. In Naomi's work, I see her leaves and carved lines grounding the dynamic swirl of color and pattern. In mine, the cityscapes anchor organic growth patterns. I love the different ways we approach carving.”

It was Slowinski's idea to allow BWA members to invite guest artists, to offer the public “the possibility of new and exciting artists that they wouldn't otherwise see on this tour.”

He said that the “monumental” scale of Procter's pottery makes it a particularly good match for the garden setting surrounding Slowinski's studio.

“They are classic vessels, but they are much larger than people usually would have practical use for, so they therefore become sculptural,” Slowinski said. “It will entice people out from the studio into the larger area.”

He added that it's exactly that sense of the creative environment that distinguishes the tour from the experience of viewing art in, say, a gallery.

“I work in my studio, but the studio is within the barn, and the barn is within these grounds. And I've got my kiln, which is separate from the barn, but it's definitely my work space,” he said. “In a general way, I work on my garden, my orchard and the land that I live on in a similar vein to my artwork. One of the great things about this tour is people have the opportunity to see not just the final product, but the setting that I'm producing it in ... another part of my life of beauty.”

Slowinski will share yet another aspect of that life with tourgoers when he picks up his clarinet to join guitarist Bill Conley for an outdoor performance on Sept. 27. The duo will play and sing jazzy swing tunes from the 1920s and 1930s starting at 3 p.m. on the grounds of his Orchard Street pottery studio.

Later that day, the Chelsea Royal Diner at 487 Marlboro Road in West Brattleboro will host a Localvore dinner buffet from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The public will have a chance to sample a selection of locally produced foods and socialize with BWA members.

On Sept. 28, the Mahalo Art Center at 972 Western Ave. in West Brattleboro will offer half-hour, drop-in tours of the center, which exhibited the work of BWA photographer Gene Parulis during the 2013 tour. Singer-songwriter Linda Worster will perform at 2 p.m. Cost for the concert is $15.

Both days, artists will offer unscheduled demonstrations of their work and visitors will have the opportunity to enter a drawing to win artworks donated by BWA members.

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