Sunday, March 6, 2011

Why I Participate in Open Studios

North Coast Open Studios is a fantastic event for artists to participate in and for people to attend.

I’ve participated for two years (this will be my third) and I have attended for at least five years. It’s a great time of year to be out and about, following the maps and directions to many different studios. The usually favorable weather allows artists to use both indoor and outside spaces providing some beautiful settings for the artwork. Whether you are traveling down a garden path, entering an outside stand-alone studio or coming right in through the front door, the anticipation builds as you approach the artist’s studio.

I love Open Studios from the perspective of an artist as well as a visitor. I enjoy welcoming guests into my studio space. It’s not glamorous – it’s just a lower level room in my house – but I love that space and what I am inspired to do there. Open Studios gives me a reason to clean up and look at the studio through new eyes - what space couldn’t use that? After I get all my jars of ground glass arranged by color, my glass sheets safely lined up in their wooden storage crate, my cutting and grinding area swept clean of little glass shards, and my artwork hung on the walls I feel proud to share this space with visitors.

It’s great to have people who are sincerely interested in your work inquire about how it is made, the materials used, how long it takes to create. These questions often provoke insights I didn’t know I had! Talking with my guests can generate new ideas, help with problem-solving and let me appreciate my work anew. All you artists who are on the fence - now is the time to sign up for Open Studios, you’ll be glad you did!

Melissa Zielinski, Mill Creek Glass
NCOS Participating Artist & Steering Committee Member

Pictured above: Glass plate by Melissa Zielinski

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