Local artists to open their studios to the public

Teresa Christmas, owner of Art Matters, begins hanging up paintings for the upcoming studio tour which will take place around downtown Bowling Green. The annual tour will allow people to meet local artists and tour their homes.

Laurel Deppen

Paintings lined the tables in a bright art studio on Main Street. Artists rushed in to set up their work and excitedly greeted each other. In the local art community, this feeling of anticipation can only mean one thing.

For the past 22 years, local artists from the Bowling Green and Warren County area have opened up their work spaces to the public as a part of the World’s Greatest Studio Tour during the first weekend of November.

Started in 1998 by the late Marsha Heidbrink, the World’s Greatest Studio Tour aims to bring the Bowling Green community closer to art. The tour features over 30 artists at 17 locations. It offers art-lovers the opportunity to meet artists, learn about their creative processes, and see art demonstrations.

Part of the tour takes place in Art Matters, an art studio and gallery in downtown Bowling Green. Teresa Christmas, the studio owner and an artist, explained the importance of the tour and what it does for the community.

“It’s funny how people don’t realize what they have in their own backyard,” Christmas said. “I’m guilty of that too. [You] go to some other city and think, ‘Wow, this is just great,’ and not take advantage of some of the greatness right here at home. This is an opportunity to do that, to become a little more educated about your local art scene.”

Christmas’ work will be featured in the Art Matters studio along with two other artists, Alla Gilbert and Julie Schuck. Alla Gilbert described her work as a study on how different people view things.

“Each one of us has their own perceptions based on who they are,” Gilbert said. “It always amazes me to see how two different people will look at the same thing in a totally different way.”

Julie Schuck described her art as focused on human connections.

“I’m really interested in relationships that people form, but I like to represent them in nonhuman form,” Schuck said.

The tour features work from many other artists, each of which specializing in something different. Mitchell Rickman, a potter, has participated in the tour for 21 years and will be doing a pottery demonstration. He described the other work that will be featured on the tour.

“There’s everything from jewelry, to pottery, to paintings, to metal work…there’s all kinds of good stuff on the tour,” Rickman said. “You can actually meet the artist and talk about their process.”

Rickman described his passion for the tour and its significance.

“This is the single biggest art event in Bowling Green and probably the surrounding counties each year,” Rickman said. “Anyone who is interested in art should go.”

Christmas emphasized the importance of the studio tour.

“I think that we’re carrying on a tradition just by continuing to have this for 22 years,” Christmas said. “I think it makes Bowling Green kind of unique.”

The studio tour will take place Nov. 4 and 5. Additional information and an interactive map can be found at www.worldsgreateststudiotour.com.

Reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at (270)745-2655 and [email protected].