0
Votes

Great Falls Studios Explore Art’s Natural Habitat

Great Falls Studios releases book to celebrate 10th anniversary.

— Great Falls Studios was founded 10 years ago by several artists who wanted to network. Now, it features more than 90 artists who work in almost every conceivable medium, and they work hard to promote arts events around the community.

photo

From left, Dean Souleles, Cindy Griselda, Jennifer Duncan and Laura Nichols, members of Great Falls Studios, with the group’s new book at the Great Falls Library Saturday, Oct. 5.

“After 10 years, we have done a lot of different projects, but we wanted to do something we haven’t done before, which is where the idea of a book came from,” said Laura Nichols, a potter and one of the book’s editors. “So we began reaching out to our members with a list of questions. We wanted to get a sense of what goes on in a studio.”

Photographer Dean Souleles was taking classes at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Georgetown, and was given an assignment to create a photo story, which brought the project into focus.

“It sort of functions like a virtual studio tour of the artists, an examination of how people work and create,” Souleles said. “Some don’t have studios. For photographer Walt Lawrence, Great Falls itself is his studio, he’s everywhere. For Karen Bateman, who is a plein air painter, her studio is wherever she decides to put her easel down.”

Griselda, a fiber artist, Nichols, a potter, and painter Jennifer Duncan edited the book, and Souleles took the photos of the artists in their natural habitat.

Each of the 16 artists in the book has four pages, which features photographs of their space, them working and anything else Souleles found interesting about their process.

“There aren’t many pictures of just the art, I tried to get more than that in each show,” he said. “It was a special experience to be able to see the artists in their creative space, and it became part of my creative space while I was with them.”

Members of the group said it was fascinating to get a look into the methods used by their fellow artists.

“It was an interesting process for me, I enjoyed learning about the process of each artist, learning about the specifics of how they approach their work every day,” Duncan said.

Tour Set for Oct. 19-20

The annual Great Falls Studios Tour features 60 artists in their creative spaces around Great Falls. The driving tour is free and self-guided, and features stops at The Artists’ Atelier, the Great Falls Library, the Village Green Day School as well as many artists’ home studios.

The tour will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20.

More information is available at www.greatfallsstu....

While compiling photos and statements from the artists, the group found putting it all together proved to be difficult.

“Four was the magic number when it came to this project,” Griselda said. “At any time, two or three of us probably could have been talked out of the project, but one of us was always ready to push us forward with new ideas.”

The book was unveiled at the Great Falls Library Saturday, Oct. 5, and many of the artists set up throughout the library throughout the day to give a glimpse into their work.

“We at the library treasure the creative people in Great Falls who make art and share it with us,” said Daniela Dixon, the library’s manager. “They’re a great addition to this community, and they give us art for the library all year round, and 10 percent of the sales made here go to support the Friends of the Great Falls Library, which is very generous of them.”

More information on the book, titled “Creative Spaces: Inside Great Falls Studios” can be found online at www.greatfallsstudios.com.