On the evening of June 24th, AIR hosted the first Open Studios event of the summer, inviting the community of Woodstock and the surrounding area to see what residents have been working on throughout their residency, with the opportunity to visit the artist studios and listen to readings from the writers.
With the doors open at 6pm, locals filtered through, bringing dishes to share along with the wine, cheese, and fruit provided by AIR.
They then continued with a tour of each studio and meeting with the artists to discuss their work.
Studio 1: Vanessa Madrid
As a mixed media sculptor and painter, Vanessa Madrid spent her time at Byrdcliffe working with burlap and paint to expand on a previous collection of sculptures.
Studio 2: Amber Hany
As a painter and mixed media artist, Amber Hany returned to Byrdcliffe for her second session, creating work using some of the natural elements of the area in her arguably political work.
Studio 3: Gabriella Sturchio
Returning for her second session at Byrdcliffe, early on painter and photographer Gabriella Sturchio said she was feeling drawn to the color blue and opted to follow that inspiration.
Studio 4: Alexis Elton
With an interactive installation, Alexis Elton utilized organic matter she personally foraged to bottle the scent of the region.
Studio 5: Bianca Sturchio
With the intention of working on her photography and a documentary, Bianca found inspiration from other visual artists early on, and followed her drive to paint instead, creating the vibrant work you see here.
Studio 6: Pallavi Sen
As an artist who dips into just about everything, Pahlavi Sen started small and ended with these bright and beautiful drawings, completed entirely with crayon.
Studio 7: Robert Hickman
As an artist who has mastered working with glass, Robert Hickman switched to textiles for his time at Byrdcliffe, completing the first half of his next project during his time here.
Next, visitors could meet with the ceramicists Robert Kolhouse, who specializes in sculpture and wheel thrown work, and Charles Shields who creates large tablets with written work carefully pressed in. Both talented and distinct from one another gave the visitors an opportunity to see to vastly different approaches to the same form.
Following the ceramicists, the writer’s set up for a final reading.
The reading started with Will Berger reading an excerpt from the novel he spent the 3 1/2 weeks working on, followed by Ashlie Kaufman sharing a piece from her personal memoir. Things continued with Harriette Yahr, reading a short story written entirely during her residency, then Michelle Welsch reading from her memoir (accompanied by photograph) about volunteering for three years in Nepal. Anissa Gross closed out the reading with an excerpt from her memoir/nonfiction piece about the perils of motherhood. And finally CT Marie recruited both Will and Anisse to act in her short play, that received plenty of laughs from the audience.
In all, a beautiful night filled with creativity and joy. To the next session and many more to come!