Open Studios Night showcases students’ work, work spaces

Roxana Pop | Daily file photo
Right, young visitors look at artwork outside on the Arts Quad.

For the past seven weeks, the students at the Chautauqua School of Art have been hard at work in their studios.

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tonight in the School of Art Quad, however, their private spaces will become public, and their studios will become a forum in which the public can meet them discuss their summer endeavors.

This event is free, and two members of the band J.D. Eicher and the Goodnights will be performing. Refreshments arranged by the VACI Partners will also be offered.

Don Kimes, artistic director of Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, started this event four years ago after he moved the annual student exhibition to earlier in the summer. He did this so the students could focus on their studio work instead of getting distracted by the show, he said.

After moving the annual show, Kimes said he started the Open Studios Night so there would be a School of Art event at the end of the students’ seven weeks here.

The event allows the public a chance to meet the students and see the work in their studios without disturbing them. Also, because the School of Art does not have performances like the other programs, the Open Studios Night acts as a venue for them to show their work, he said.

The Open Studios Night also offers people a chance to buy artwork from the students.

“Their work will be up in their studios and people can talk to them individually,” he said. “It’s not set up like a show but they’re very happy to sell their work.”

Kimes said that people who come to the Open Studios Night may find one thing quite surprising.

“People who saw the student show are going to be amazed at the work they’ve done since,” he said.