Nov 08, 2012 — Todd Moe talks with Hillary Oak, director of the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, about this weekend's 25th annual Artists' Studio Tour. It's opportunity to meet artists and see the creative process first hand.
The public gets to see some of the process, the person who created it, the environment it was created in, and the hard work, to better appreciate artists, says Oak. “Seeing an artist in their natural habitat,” in their homes, places of work, or studio.
Each year the line up of artist continually changes, so there is always someone new on the tour. Oak says it is nice that people get to meet a specific jeweler or potter that they are familiar with, and ask them questions.
There will be several artists from Akwesasne at the senior center in Hogansburg, but only on Saturday. There will be beaded jewelers, basket weavers, quilters, painters, and sculptors. In Ogdensburg there will be Thomas Robarge, who is a photographer and painter. A new artist this year is Jahn Greyhawk, who will be in Canton on Rt. 11. He does Native American paintings, along with Native American clothing, weapons and accessories.
Oak says the tour is not only sustainable, but also contagious. Saranac Lake started an Artist at Work tour a couple years ago, and there is also an annual studio tour in Merrickville. She believes it won’t be too long before Jefferson County has a studio tour as well. “It’s kind of thing that’s fun, you can bring kids to, you can bring your parents to. It’s really a nice way for a family to get out and enjoy the North Country together.”
There will be signs out at all the studio tour sites, and a brochure available at the arts council, and at libraries throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence County. The brochure is also up on the website, and can be printed.
You can start your holiday shopping by purchasing items from the artist directly. Artists will also be demonstrating their work, some at specific times, and some throughout the weekend. Oak says she would appreciate people filling out an evaluation and sign-in sheet at each location they visit.
The tour is Saturday to Monday from 10-4 each day with more than 45 artists displaying their work at 20 locations.