A rare peek inside the places where creativity happens

Baltimore artists open their studios for a tour

Arts: Museums/Literature

October 21, 2004|By Sam Sessa | Sam Sessa,SUN STAFF

For most artists, the studio is a kind of home away from home.

It's the space where they can channel their creativity -- their heart and soul -- and breathe life into blank canvases or shapeless globs of clay. And for that reason, studios are normally private places.

But in Open Studio Tour 2004, Baltimore artists will open their workplaces to the public for two weekends: the downtown studios (south of North Avenue) on Saturday and Sunday and the uptown studios (north of North Avenue) on Oct. 30-31. About 115 artists will participate in the free event, which is sponsored by School 33 Art Center.

In its 16th year, the Open Studio Tour aims to raise the profile of contemporary art in Baltimore by letting the public become more acquainted with the scene, said Sandra Litz, assistant director of School 33.

"It's a chance to connect to the public," Litz said. "This is really a chance [for artists] to have people into their studio, which normally doesn't occur constantly. It's a really unique opportunity."

The tour features all areas of artwork, including ceramics, painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing and photography.

The Art Center, at 1427 Light St., will also present an exhibition of artists' samples, slides and resumes in its main gallery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Oct. 31.

Visitors can pick up maps with studio names and addresses at School 33. School 33 is also sponsoring an artist-guided bus tour of the studios, which leaves the center at noon and runs until 5 p.m. each day of the event. Tickets are $20 per person, and visitors must register in advance by calling 410-396- 4641.

The kickoff reception for Open Studio Tour 2004, which is free and open to the public, will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow.

Litz hopes the Open Studio Tour will serve as a venue outside of art galleries where people can purchase local art.

"Certainly we hope people buy and collect some of the artwork at the artists' studios," Litz said. "I think there's a lot of great things being done [here] and that would be great with the artists."

Open Studio Tour 2004 highlights the downtown studios (south of North Avenue) from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and the uptown studios (north of North Avenue) from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 30-31. The School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St., is eight blocks south of the Inner Harbor. Call 410-396-4641 or visit www.school33.org.

For more arts events, see Page 36.

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