It’s going to be a veritable festival of creativity at Art & Soul Gallery in Eastport on Saturday, as at least seven artists put their process on view for all to see.
During the “Artists at Work” event, the public can snatch a peek into woodblock printing, drawing from the live model, en plein air painting, plus individual approaches to watercolor, acrylic and oil painting.
All of the demonstrations will be held simultaneously. To make room, the creative stations will replace the sculpture and paintings ordinarily installed on the center floor. Each artist’s artwork will hang on a nearby wall. This way, observers can see how creativity transforms blank canvas or paper into art.
The event is designed to demystify the artistic process and break down any walls of intimidation between the public and what some see as the rarefied atmosphere of an art gallery. The idea came from a suggestion by artist and musician Frank Latorre and was subsequently kicked around and developed by gallery owner Mary Samuels and a few other artists who typically toil in obscurity in the workshop tucked away in the rear of the gallery.
“We thought it would be fun,” Ms. Samuels said. “I thought if we open the process up for everyone to see, it would make art more accessible.”
To put as many artistic approaches as possible on view, there will be at least seven artists demonstrating how they work. Pamela Gates Capozzola of Westhampton will demonstrate woodblock printing. Dana Little Brown of Southampton will work with pastels. Victoria Beckert of Holbrook will demonstrate watercolor painting.
Ms. Samuels and Mr. Latorre will show how they use acrylics. Mr. Latorre combines realism with abstraction; Ms. Samuels paints landscapes.
Eileen Sanger of Miller Place will show how painting on location outdoors (en plein air) is done by simulating the experience. She will set up a photograph of a landscape and then paint “on location” inside the gallery using the French easel and paints she totes around to different locations.
“Even though I’ll be inside the gallery, people will be able to see what it’s like to paint outside,” she said. “It should be a lot of fun.”
Giana Grossman of Westhampton Beach is pulling out all the stops for her demonstration. Her art focuses on portraiture and illustration. To help bring a kick to the event, her husband has agreed to become a live (clothed) model while Ms. Grossman shows how artists draw from life. In case anyone wants to try their hand, she is bringing some extra paper and charcoal.
“I can show people how to do a gesture drawing or how to make a quick sketch,” she said. “I want to try to make it fun and dynamic.”
The couple’s 8-year-old son, Zach, might even decide to try his hand at modeling, Ms. Grossman said. Gazing at her son waiting for the group interview at the gallery to be concluded, she expressed some doubt about Zach’s ability to stay still for an extended amount of time.
Regardless of whether or not Ms. Grossman’s son strikes a pose, Ms. Samuels said families with children are encouraged to stop by the Artists at Work event to see for themselves what artists do and meet the people behind the art.
“The event is for everybody,” she said. “I want to make the gallery accessible, and people to know they can come in and look around and it’s okay. You don’t have to know about art to enjoy it. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this: So everyone will feel comfortable walking into an art gallery and looking at art.”
Artists at Work will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Art & Soul Gallery, 495 Montauk Highway, Eastport. For information, visit www.artsoulgallery.com or call 325-1504. Art & Soul exhibits local and national artists, handmade jewelry and woodworking. The gallery features changing exhibitions and offers art classes, workshops and custom framing.