A good dose of art

Longmont artists open their studios to the public at just the right time

Painted chair and stand
By Paula Manning Fagre

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

— Pablo Picasso

Washing the “mud” of daily life off our souls would have been more accurate these days, but however you say it, Picasso’s counsel is just what Boulder County needs right now. It’s no secret it’s been a tough few weeks around here, and our souls could use a good cleansing.


The floods left some of us devastated physically and all of us emotionally drained. As a community, we need a break, a new vision. We need to feel inspired again. Or to put it more succinctly, we could all use a good dose of art.

Fortunately, we can get just that this weekend during the Longmont Council of the Arts’ Studio Tour 2013.

This self-guided tour features the work of 47 of the area’s most accomplished artists. These creatives who work in Longmont and Niwot are opening their studios to the public this weekend, and the timing couldn’t be better.

For a couple of weeks now, area residents have been participating in a different kind of tour, the flood destruction tour. At every missing bridge, crumpled home, swollen creek and crevassed road, crowds gather daily to compare stories and see the damage for themselves. It has been a powerful, if not uplifting experience. But it seems a good time to change tours.

Art can offer much-needed escape and inspiration. If we give it a chance, it can take us from our monotone world of mud and debris to a place where light and color can still coax a smile and an artist’s vision can resurrect our depleted sense of wonder.

Art can work powerful magic in our lives if we’ll only give it the time.

Charlotte Zink — metal painting; Rick Stoner — painting/pastel

This year’s Longmont Studio tour appears to have something for everyone’s taste, from contemporary oil paintings to whimsical blown glass creations to sculpture, jewelry, fabric art and even hand-painted furniture.

With such variety, a great place to start your self-guided tour is at Muse Gallery. Muse, in downtown Longmont, is hosting the 2013 Studio Tour Preview show, which includes a work of art from each of the 47 participating artists.

Pick out your favorite pieces and grab one of the studio tour maps available at the gallery and plot out your day’s route.

The studio tour is a great way to meet the county’s arts community and to observe them working in their own space. Several of the artists will be conducting demonstrations during the tour. The tour map, available at Muse or online from the Longmont Council for the Arts at http://tinyurl.com/jvrworo, shows which artists will be offering demonstrations.

For art patrons or just those needing an injection of creativity, the tour is a great way to keep up with artists who are new to the area, such as Judy Batty, who has relocated her stained-glass studio to Old Town Longmont from Maine, or to discover the new work of the region’s best-known creators, such as painters Rick Stoner and Kathleen Reilly.

Susan Crouse — encaustic painting

Of late, Stoner seems to come up with something that departs from his more familiar landscapes and still-lifes around studio tour time, and this year’s work featuring a bee is definitely in that mold-breaking vein.

The studio tour runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Give yourself a well-deserved break and enjoy a flood-free day of art and inspiration in east Boulder County. Pablo says it will do you a world of good.

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