R. STEPHANIE BRUNO| Special to The Advocate
When Beverly Morris first heard of Marlowe McGraw’s idea for the old warehouse at Toulouse and North Murat streets, she recognized it was a winner.Not only would the conversion of the building to artists’ studios solve her problem of where to work on her clay projects, but it meant she’d soon have the camaraderie of other artists nearby.Almost 20 years later, the Mid-City Art Studios continues to provide space for more than 25 artists to explore new processes and turn out fascinating works. Today, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 4436 Toulouse St., the group hosts an open studio event that aims to offer the public a look inside the creative process. Better still, photographs, paintings, pastels, ceramics, multi-media works and more will be for sale.
“We love doing this every year and getting to know the people who come to explore what we are doing and how we do it,” said Allison Stewart, who exhibits at Arthur Roger Gallery. “The event makes it possible for all of us to make connections, especially those of us who aren’t affiliated with a gallery.”Because artists spend so much time working in their studios, the spaces turn into a sort of “home away from home,” a place of refuge as well as a place of challenge. Read on to find out how four of the artists have adapted studios of varying sizes to suit their creative needs.
A painter and monotype artist, Stewart came to the Art Studios by way of the Louise Day Nursery lofts after Hurricane Katrina.“The studio space there in the Lower Garden District was wonderful,” she said. However, everyone who had a studio in the building was evicted after FEMA requisitioned it to house government employees after the storm.“But this is a great place for all of us. We are all really compatible and there is great camaraderie. Painting is a solitary profession, but here there is a lot of give and take.”Stewart’s studio is the largest among those on-site: At 1,000 square feet, it affords her an area for painting, another for printing monotypes, an office for the business side of her endeavors, and a “quiet corner.”“I have an old cast-off Sheridan-style sofa, a rattan chair, and bookcase for my art books and sketch pads,” Stewart said. “I use that area for studying and reading.”The huge space and banks of windows on two sides (not to mention a coveted sink) make it ideal for the large format works Stewart paints, abstracts that deal with the fragility of the natural environment.“Some are 4-by-6, some are 5-by-5, and they can be connected as diptychs or triptychs,” she said. “I need a lot of wall space.”
Please click here for full article.