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Diversity on display in WCAA Studio Tour

Richard Lichtenstein stokes his forge in Honesdale where he works on large forge-steel sculptures as well as studies of human and animal interactions in clay.

By Fritz Mayer
July 28, 2011

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — When you look at the artists who are participating in the Wayne County Arts Alliance (WCAA) Open Studio tour this year, it is their diversity and that of their works that stands out. From an artist who works with forged steel, to anther who lists doll-making as a specialty, as well as painters, potters and photographers, they cover an extraordinary range.

There are 21 artists this year, and most of them invite the public to come into their studios to see their works and the process of how the work is created. However, this year the tour is adding some alternative art spaces at which the work of photographers will be on display.

Tamara Murray, the director of the WCAA, said, “The reason for including these alternative spaces is that we have some fabulous photographers, and due to the technological changes in photography, they don’t really have much to show people in terms of their studio; their tools are pretty much their computers. So these spaces will allow photographers to take part in the tour.”

The alternative spaces are the White Mills Historical Fire Station, Peter English’s Grand Style Framing in Honesdale and also the Philip Hone Gallery, the Hanson Gallery and the Willow River Gallery, all in Honesdale.

One of the photographers on display will be Chris Fischer, who has taken pictures of wildlife all over the world. He is a newcomer to the tour, and Murray pointed to him as an example of new artists who continue to be attracted to the area as it grows as an arts center.

Another artist new to the tour is Sheila Goloborotko, a painter, sculptor and printmaker. She shows her work in Brooklyn, England and Brazil, and now also in Wayne County. Murray said Goloborotko took the tour and then became part of it.

The concept of the tour began with five local artists sitting around the kitchen table in 2000, thinking of ways to educate the pubic about the art being created in the area and also wanting to promote themselves as artists. That led to the first tour and, in 2002, the formation of the WCAA.

So, said Murray, “The studio tour is really at the heart of this organization and at the heart of our vision of enriching the community through the arts. It’s always been free, unlike some other tours for gardens or homes; there is a very strong commitment on the part of the artists who are participating that they want to keep it free to the public.”