New Paltz’s continuously growing art scene was brought together by the New Paltz Open Studio Tour, which ran from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30. Artist Sylvia Diaz brought this event to New Paltz for the second year in a row and now wishes to expand collaborations between artists with a shared studio space, which could possibly come into fruition in the following year.
Although the New Paltz Open Studio Tour has its reception and overall tour early in the fall, Diaz works continuously with artists by representing and promoting them. As a promotions director and marketer, Diaz has collaborated with artists in their personal or pop up studios in the New Paltz, Rosendale and Highland area, such as Doug Motel, Jerry Teters and Carol Cox, respectively.
Diaz is originally from Dutchess County, and she homeschooled her daughter. She said that in New Paltz she found a great community of homeschooling mothers, which prompted her to make the move.
“I loved the feel of New Paltz,” Diaz said. “It has an artistic flare to it that’s funky. There’s also the nature of mountains and wildlife.”
The NP Studio Tour featured 36 artists; 27 professionals, seven emerging and two student artists. The professional artists, according to Diaz, acted as role models for the emerging and student artists: they are the ones who examined portfolios and took a look at structure, composition and balance in artwork. They gave constructive critiques for those who weren’t chosen and encouraged everyone’s artistic expressions.
When critically assessing artist’s work, Diaz notes that there are many factors that could determine whether or not they are represented. Several questions arise.
For example, is there a clear level of skill involved in the work? Does it look like they make art on their own or is it simply for school? Are the elements of composition used, such as movement, balance or proportion? A look into the bio also reveals the artist’s intentions.
Works were showcased in the artists’ studios or galleries within New Paltz; Roost Studios, Unison Arts Center and the Mark Gruber Gallery to name a few.
“I am so grateful for the people who donated their time and space to make this happen,” Diaz said. “They so generously opened up their doors for these artists and SUNY New Paltz for furthering the effort to include students,”
With a large art scene, Diaz believes there is a lot of potential in terms of artistic spaces at New Paltz. By creating the Open Studio Tour, her goal is to “create a unified community of artists in town- to share and help each other grow in the process.”
For now, Diaz wishes to continue pursuing her goal of creating a collaborative art space in the area. In her vision, by unifying and coming together as a whole, New Paltz can be a powerful hub of artistic expression and create an active engagement within the town.
To learn more about the Open Studio Tour and the artists involved, visit http://www.newpaltzopenstudiotour.com/index.html.