Artists Reveal StudiosGAMBIER, Ohio (November 24, 2010)
Sarah Dowling '11 is not sure what to expect when the senior art student welcomes the public into her workspace on December 3 for Open Studio Night.
"This is a first for me," said Dowling, a painter and drawer from Chatham, New Jersey. "But it's a great idea. It will be nice to get some feedback from people from outside the classroom, especially while some of my work is still in its early stages."
Open Studio Night has become a Kenyon tradition "to give senior art students on this end of campus more visibility and showcase their work for the community," said Professor of Studio Art Claudia Esslinger, who organized the event with Professor of Studio Art Gregory Spaid. Studio Art presents the event from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Bexley Hall, where sixteen student artists will display finished works and works-in-progress in a wide array of media including drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, digital imaging, and installation.
The exhibition has been described as Kenyon's version of a "gallery hop," but the studio access offers a more intimate view of the artistic process, said Marcella Hackbardt, associate professor of studio art and department chair. "Visitors are right there in the artists' spaces," she said, "where they can see how the artists work and the materials they work with, and talk to them directly about their ideas."
The artists, in turn, have an opportunity to demonstrate their approach to art, articulate their ideas, and build toward the "senior exercise"—spring solo exhibitions at the Olin Gallery. For some, Open Studio Night represents the first public inspection of their work and workplace. "I'll probably clean up a little bit," Dowling said. "All those empty coffee cups will have to go."
Open Studio Night replicates the festive tone of a gallery opening, with refreshments. Visitors are welcome to roam through the classrooms and studio space. "What's fun about this night is that we get to treat it like a gallery show," said Fraser Reach '11, a sculptor and installation artist from Worthington, Ohio. "The reason most of us make art is to share it."