Open Studio Weekend brings visitors into Charlotte artists’ spaces

VT Open StudioLife and work as an artist can be solitary; talking to an artist about her work can be intimidating. The Vermont Crafts Council’s Open Studio Weekend aims to bridge that gap around the State of Vermont, allowing artists to open their work spaces to the public and allowing people to visit and speak to artists in their natural habitats. Two Charlotte artists, Katie Carleton and Jessica Scriver, are participating in this spring’s Open Studio Weekend on Memorial Day weekend, May 25 and 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The family-friendly, self-guided tour through Vermont’s artists’ studios is an opportunity for people to meet with local artists and craftspeople in their studios. Studio tours, activities and snacks are available, as well as the opportunity to purchase art.

This is Scriver’s third year participating in the weekend. She works frequently in encaustic paint, which is, as she says on her web site, “a wax-based paint that is applied using a heated palette then fused to the painting surface using a heat gun. The finish is incredibly lustrous.” In this medium, she also uses maps and other geological inspirations, and said her work is “really process-oriented. It’s fun for people to come in and learn about the process.”

Scriver will do demonstrations of her encaustic work throughout the weekend and will have work available for sale, though she says she wants people to enjoy the visit and not feel like they have to buy something. She said it’s fun for her to share her techniques, which she’s spent years developing, with curious visitors as well as with fellow artists. “I like to talk to people about it,” she said.

Carleton is a primarily a painter who works mainly on canvas but wanders off toward more whimsical work on occasion, like wooden barrettes and magnets, as well as clay mobiles. She said during open studio weekend she’ll most likely be working on a “giant” painting of exotic birds that she currently has in progress.

She said she’s looking forward to having human company in her studio; her usual work colleagues are a bunny and three cats who hang out with her while she works. Like many artists, she said she feels a bit of insecurity about her work when she shows at a gallery or in a public space, but having people visit in her studio is fun. “It’s my world, and it feels really good to share it with people,” she said.

Maps and more information about Open Studio Weekend are available online through the Vermont Crafts Council web site. Jessica Scriver studio is located at 2206 Greenbush Road, and Katherine Carleton Fine Arts Studio is located at 3364 Spear Street.