4 Towns 4 Art Unearths Vibrant Local Arts Scene
The one-day public tour of 18 artists' home studios and workshops in Collingswood, Haddonfield, Haddon Township and Oaklyn will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Don't look now, says Collingswood jewelry-maker Evelyn Taylor, but the noises are coming from the basement.
Or the garage.
Or the tool shed. Maybe even in the spare bedroom.
Someone could be in there, right now, making art, and you might not even know it.
Taylor is one of the motivating forces behind 4 Towns 4 Art, a grassroots artist community tour of 18 home studio spaces in 4 neighboring towns—Collingswood, Haddonfield, Haddon Township, and Oaklyn.
Artists who work in everything from painting, fibers, ceramics, jewelry and sculpture will open their homes to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.
"We hope that people will take the day and stop at as many of the 18 studios as they are inspired to stop at," Taylor said, "and then at the end of the day...there will be a reception so that artists can mingle with each other."
Taylor co-founded the event together with fiber guild artist Jennifer Talarico and Haddon Township salon Blue owner Doug Kelly as a way to give "local, independent artists a platform from which to share their creative process with the people who live all around them, and to encourage the financial support of those artists by presenting their work for sale directly out of their studios," according to a statement.
"There’s artists that live all around everyone...and we feel like we’re hidden among the community and that the community would like to know we exist," Taylor told Patch.
Oil painter Maria Christopher, who rents a gallery space at the SoHa Arts Building in Haddon Township, will be on the tour. Christopher said she was part of "the first Philadelphia studio tours" in an artist's enclave neighborhood near the Italian Market going back a few years.
"I think it’s really exciting," Christopher said. "There’s a lot of possibilities that can come from this. I hope that this brings it all together."
After 10 or so years, she said, the Philadelphia tours became so much a part of the culture of the neighborhood that shops would donate their food for the receptions. The events grew because they helped connect artists who labored away solitarily and in total ignorance of each other.
"There were so many people within a block-block radius who had no idea we were there," Christopher said. "You get to know people through the networking and get to visit them on your own because everyone’s close by.
"It is a big project," she said. "It takes a while to catch on."
Christopher said that although the idea of a studio tour helps make a valuable connection among the artist and the public audience, entering an artist's workspace "is such an intimate thing.
"I would rather hang a show of work in the gallery," she said. "That’s far removed. But go into the space I work in? In truth I think that’s what makes people interested."
The artists who will be participating in 4 Towns 4 Art include:
- Jennifer Talarico, fibers, Haddon Township
- Evelyn Taylor, jewelry, Collingswood
- Eric Wolff, ceramics, Collingswood
- Maria Christopher, painting, SoHa
- Allison Hunt, jewelry, SoHa
- Jocelynn Tice, pastels, Haddon Township
- Matt Green, painting, Haddon Township
- Andrea Hollander, painting on fabric, Collingswood
- Fran Gallun, mixed media, SoHa
- Mark Parker, illustration, Haddon Township
- Patricia Walker, painting on silk, Haddonfield
- Linda Figliola, leather and illustrations, Collingswood
- Richard Bell, photography, SoHa
- Monika Rosa, painting, SoHa
- Theresa Bendzius, painting, SoHa
- Stacy Douglas, mosaics, Haddon Township
- Terrance Smith, illustration, Haddon Township
- Bob Jackson, drawing & assemblage, Haddonfield
- Phyllis Jackson, jewelry, Haddonfield