2017-07-27 / Front Page

A WINDOW INTO THEIR WORLD

LOCAL ARTISTS WILL SHOWCASE WORK SATURDAY
BY TIM RIEL


Ernie Savastano, Chris Smeraldi, Carol Gates and Pat King work in the open air along Conanicus Avenue during the 2016 studio tour. The four painters return to the patio Saturday for the fourth annual edition. Ernie Savastano, Chris Smeraldi, Carol Gates and Pat King work in the open air along Conanicus Avenue during the 2016 studio tour. The four painters return to the patio Saturday for the fourth annual edition. From award-winning holiday cards in the North End to storytelling illustrations near Fort Wetherill, artists across Conanicut Island will open their studio doors Saturday. The goal is to show guests their creations, from the exhaustive process through to the finished products.

“One of the goals of this tour is for the artists to be working in some manner,” said Jennifer Clancy, a North Road glassblower who co-founded the Jamestown Alliance for Artist Sustainability. “We want to showcase the amount of labor that goes into this work.”

The is the fourth annual tour sponsored by the sustainability alliance, a collective of artists formed in 2012 to sustain a “healthy livelihood” by creating and selling work. There are roughly 45 members who work and live in town. The impetus for the tour was to highlight artists who don’t have commercial studios, but instead work from their homes.


Jen Black showcases her stained glass during last summer’s tour. She again will join the Clancys at their glassblowing studio on North Road near the Jamestown Windmill. Jen Black showcases her stained glass during last summer’s tour. She again will join the Clancys at their glassblowing studio on North Road near the Jamestown Windmill. Saturday will have 20 sites with red starred balloons indicating where to stop between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. While many artists will showcase under the same roof they sleep, like Jillian Barber’s historic King family house near West Ferry, other artists will highlight their workshops, like Clancy’s glassblowing studio near the windmill. They also will be in action in the commercial district, including Elaine Porter’s jewelry display at Simpatico and four plein aire painters on The Purple Door’s patio.


Ceramicist Jillian Barber in her home studio in the West Ferry section of Narragansett Avenue. She will demonstrate her work there as part of the Jamestown Alliance for Artist Sustainability’s studio tour Saturday. Ceramicist Jillian Barber in her home studio in the West Ferry section of Narragansett Avenue. She will demonstrate her work there as part of the Jamestown Alliance for Artist Sustainability’s studio tour Saturday. “They will be painting throughout the day at East Ferry,” said Clancy, referencing Ernie Savastano, Chris Smeraldi, Pat King and Carol Gates. “It’ll be neat to watch them start a painting in the morning, then go back and watch them finish up in the afternoon.”

Another attraction are demonstrations, including Josy Wright’s printing press at 86 Clarke St. The Rhode Island School of Design grad will have her machine running so guests can create simple prints while touring her studio.

Participating for the second consecutive summer is the art gallery at Bridge’s Inc., which features paintings, illustrations and 3-D creations from more than a dozen developmentally disabled artists.

“They’re amped up and ready to go,” Clancy said.

Free maps, which highlight each artist’s location along with their medium and style, are available at the Jamestown Arts Center, 17 Valley St. When grabbing a map, visitors can drop into the print room and ceramics area there, which are part of the tour.

Organizers are expecting a supportive crowd, similar to the past when upwards of 500 maps have been distributed. For guests who are doing more than window-shopping, Clancy is reminding buyers the state doesn’t have a sales tax on original art. They only pay the sticker price. Other participating artists are Shirley Bell, Lisa Barsumian, Jen Black, Peter Diepenbrock, Deb Lichtenstein, Alex Kent, Jane McNally Wright, Julie Munafo, Rene Stawicki and Didi Suydam.

“This is more than browsing at art galleries,” Clancy said. “There will be a busy artist at every site. This is seeing the studio and the working process. It’s a really interactive experience.”

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