Local Artists Open their Studio Doors to the Public

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EEver wished you could peek inside an artist’s studio and discover how they create their masterpieces? You’re in luck; Madison Area Open Art Studios (MAOAS) is giving area residents the opportunity to meet artists in their studios, view their work and learn more about their craft.
MAOAS is free to the public and opens studio doors across the city. And with over 150 participating artists, there are probably a few in your neighborhood. This year’s event will be held October 4 and 5.

Since its inception in 2003, this annual event continues to draw more artist involvement each year. The event is open to all artists who apply and commit to participate, regardless of their level of experience. “There are artists who’ve won national awards and those who recently retired and started making art in their garage,” says Cora Hardin, a volunteer for the event.

The artist’s studio is often in their own home, reinforcing personal connections with visitors. For those intimidated by the gallery atmosphere, the setting “demystifies art” says Hardin. “You can ask all the questions you ever wanted to without feeling like you need an art history degree.” For art aficionados, the informal setting offers another benefit: art for sale without the gallery markup price.

One of the most unique mediums showcased this year is “found object assemblage,” something artist Judy Landsman finds “whimsical and completely outside of the box.” Landsman collects discarded everyday objects and reassembles them to create new compositions. Faces are her favorite subject. “Some objects are natural,” explains Landsman. “Others may be discarded plastic toys from my grandkids. If it looks like a nose or eye, that’s what is becomes.” Landsman shares her studio space with two other artists during the event: a photographer and another found object assembler.

There is an accompanying exhibit at the Overture Center running through October 10, 2008. During the exhibit, view work from each participating artist and find the locations of the artists who interest you.

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