There is no better way to discover the rich art of Prescott than the annual Prescott Area Artists Studio Tour. This year’s tour will feature 74 artists in 49 private studios and another 28 artists in three art centers.
On the tour you will visit where the artists work and get to talk directly with them as you learn about their crafts and inspirations. Many will be demonstrating how they use their tools and create their art.
Tour President Lynn Schmitt said that the group really amped up its online presence after canceling the in-person tour last year due to the pandemic.
Schmitt has made it easy to find the studios by dividing the area into six sections and creating maps for each, along with an overview map.
“This is a great opportunity to ask the artists why and how they do what they do.” Schmitt shared, “It’s a good educational opportunity that is still fun!”
Schmitt is a brilliant artist who creates one-of-a-kind jewelry, and her studio will be open, too. She laughs as she says, “I get to beat metal!”
When asked how she got started, she said she needed Victorian jewelry for a timepiece costume, and couldn’t find anything. She created it and enjoyed it so much, she kept going.
Cindy Shaeffer does incredible work in glass, and her husband Joe is a metal-sculptor. They do a lot of work together, connecting both media. Jewelry, wall pieces, sculptures and custom-made sconces are only the beginning of what this talented team produces.
Shaeffer’s love of working with glass started with stained glass. “I like the way light comes through glass and makes it so beautiful,” she said. Years later she took a course in glass-fusing and found her passion. “After the class I got rid of all my stained-glass stuff.”
“You have to know how the different types of glass will work with each other. If you don’t, you’ll get some muddy colors. There’s a huge amount of chemistry involved in fusing glass,” Shaeffer explains. “Each time a piece is put in the kiln, it can get darker or have a reaction to another type of glass, so you have to know what you’re doing.” She smiles as she confesses that she’s made a lot of muddy glass through the years.
“Fusing glass can be simple.” She said. I saw her work and listened to how some of it was done and left with the idea it was only simple to her because of her incredible skill.
Arliss Newcomb was a woodcarver for many years. One year while traveling in Canada she saw a sign: ‘Sculpture Studio.’ “I saw this fella working on a massive piece of stone. It was so interesting, so I watched him for about 20 minutes. ”Newcomb continues, “He turned around and asked if I carve on rock. I said, ‘No, I carve wood’. He said if I could carve wood, I could carve stone. He gave me two stones, one a piece of beautiful soapstone and another of multicolored alabaster.” She holds her hands apart by about a foot to show me the size.
“He told me I could use my woodcarving tools on them because they were soft enough. Then he said he’d like to see what I carve on my way back through.” She carved a fish out of the alabaster and alikeness of Gollum from The Hobbit from the soapstone.
When traveling back through, Newcomb took her work to the sculptor. He wanted to put them in his gallery, and she agreed. She smiles broadly, “By the time I got home, I had a check in the mail, as they’d both sold. I haven’t touched a piece of wood since! That was 37 years ago,” she laughs.
Her work is extraordinary and elegant.
For more about these and the other featured artists and their work, visit the Studio Tour website at PrescottStudioTour.com. The Studio Tour runs October 1, 2, and 3, 10-4pm.