By TRAVIS MORSE email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — A new Cedarhurst program aims to give the public a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of local artists.
The Mt. Vernon Art Studio Tour, as the program is known, will be held for the first time April 12. Organizers hope the event becomes an annual fundraiser for the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts.
Carrie Gibbs, director of the Shrode Art Center and one of the artists featured on the tour, said she wants the program to deepen the public's understanding of how works of art are created.
“It's to open people's eyes to the processes involved to create art,” Gibbs said. “It will give an overall appreciation of what it takes for an artist to be creative.”
Five artists and four local studios will be featured on the April 12 tour.
Gibbs and Cortez Hodges, who are ceramic artists, share a studio. The other individuals on the tour will be glass artist Sue Shrode, metal artist Mike Tate and paper artist Alma Petry.
A limited number of tickets — no more than 100 — are being sold for the Art Studio Tour. Tickets are $40 per person or $35 for Cedarhurst members.
Those who buy a ticket will receive a map they can use to take a self-guided tour of the four local studios.
The tours will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. April 12, and a post-tour reception is set for 3 to 5 p.m. the same day at the Cedarhurst Performance Hall. The times overlap because of the "open house" style of the event, Gibbs said.
During the tours, the artists will hold live demonstrations at their studios to show the public how they create their art.
For instance, Gibbs and Hodges will use their potter's wheels to create cups or bowls, and will also demonstrate how they paint or draw on the surface of clay.
“(We want) people to be aware of the artists that live in the area — what we do, the process,” Hodges said. “Visiting the studios, people can actually see the different stages of a piece of work.”
The studio used by Gibbs and Hodges is actually a converted garage space, which visitors should find interesting, Gibbs said.
“Studios have a certain charm to them,” Gibbs said.
At the post-tour reception, ticket-holders can enjoy live music, as well as complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.
In addition, drawings will be held at the reception to give away five works of art created by the featured artists on the tour.
Organizers hope the Art Studio Tour program continues to grow, and that other Mt. Vernon artists will participate in the years to come.
Petry, who primarily makes paper/clay pieces, said she would like Mt. Vernon to adopt a touring program like the one in Gatlinburg, Tenn., which is made up of a diverse group of independent artisans.
“I would love for this tour to continue on and for us to be able to make a map of all the artists in Mt. Vernon who have studio space and are creating art,” Petry said.
Hodges said the tour program should also inspire the public to create art themselves.
“You can do this, too,” Hodges said. “It shouldn't seem impossible anymore or a mystery.”
For more information on the tour or to purchase tickets, contact Cedarhurst at 242-1236, ext. 225, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.