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SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

“Storm of Joy” by Mariah Kaminsky is one of the eye-catching pieces in the Open Doors taster exhibition for Durango Open Studios at DurangoSpace on Main Avenue.

By Ted Holteen Herald staff writer

Art aficionados saw last week works by some of the region’s top artists during the annual Colorfest Gallery Walk. This weekend, with the start of the Fourth Annual Durango Open Studios tour, the extra curious among them can go a step farther and see where all those works came from. The tour will go for two weekends.

“I just don’t think you can see 33 artists at work in two days,” said Denise Leslie, owner of Shared Vision Publishing. She coordinates the open studios tour.

She has a point. Even though Leslie added the inaugural Mancos Open Studios this summer to make the trek more manageable, the artists are spread out enough (including Bayfield and Ignacio) that the drive time makes it nearly impossible to hit every studio. Mancos artist June McCartney will be a special guest for Durango Open Studios. She will demonstrate at the Open Studios headquarters at DurangoSpace. McCartney was forced to leave her home studio during Mancos Open Studios in June because of the Weber Fire.

There is as much artistic as geographic diversity. This year is the first time a fashion designer will participate. Durango’s Sandra Cushman will show her styles at her home on Crazy Horse Drive. Most, if not all of the painters on the tour will be painting new works over the two weekends. Some of the most fascinating demonstration work will be done by the three-dimensional artists. Potters Nick Blaisdell, Adam Field, Lorna Meaden and Diane Brandt will share their methods with people who drop by. A day spent in the glass-blowing factory of Trefny Dix and Bengt Hokanson could burn up a quarter of the tour in the blink of an eye.

Even the Ignacio studios have been wrangled into two stops. Four of the five artists – with a wide array of skills – will set up shop at Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center. Rebecca Koepper will demonstrate pastel paintings, Diana Ruthers will show eclectic sculpture with intricate beadwork, Kasey Correia will demonstrate the art of raku pottery firing, and Meg McDonald will give a demonstration of intaglio printmaking.

The only Ignacio artist who will remain in her home studio is Lorraine Trenholm, but she’s not far off the highway.

The two-week event will begin tonight with the opening of the all-important taster exhibit. Works by all of the artists are on display at DurangoSpace. Most artists will attend tonight’s reception. Musician Robby Overfield will deliver a solo performance.

It’s not an ideal viewing spot, but Leslie has enjoyed working in a professional space surrounded by so much art.

“There are more and more of these alternative art spaces, and it allows so many more people to see art who normally wouldn’t,” Leslie said. “But this is really practical. The idea is to start the tour here, check out the work to decide whose studio you’d like to see and then head out over the weekend and find it.”


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