Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Open Studios Botetourt
Drive the back roads surrounding Roanoke and you see a lot of lovely countryside. Forgive the cliche, but especially this time of year it's as pretty as a picture.
What you likely have not seen are the actual pictures.
Ok -- technically, I believe a "picture" is a photograph, and I'm talking about paintings, and woodworking and pottery. And as it turns out, there are a number of highly talented artists who create this work in Botetourt County.
Open Studios Botetourt, subtitled, Art in the Country is an opportunity for people to visit these artists where they work -- and often live -- in order to better understand the art and the artist. I should throw in that the art is for sale.
For my story on Fox 21/27 we had time to interview two of the artists: Ed Bordett, and Dreama Kattenbraker. We visited Dreama's home, where her garage has become a cozy studio. Ed is located in an old car dealership in Fincastle, where he paints and creates hand-crafted prints amidst a collection of cool antiques, and his own gallery.
Art is like wine. You know what you like -- though I'm no expert, I can say that there is quality there. I liked a lot of what I saw. These are not amateurs or hobbyists. They take their art and their space personally. So it's a big deal that you are invited into that space.
Both Ed and Dreama felt that if people got to know the artists, learned their motivation and had a glimpse of their psyches, they might see beyond the images on the canvas.
It's no secret that arts sales have been lagging in current economy. Credit this group who decided to do something about it. they created this tour. Botetourt County Tourism is helping them, along with the Bank of Fincastle. They have a marketing plan, a brochure with a map and Ed is printing lots of signs in his shop. They even have a Facebook page.
I have spent quite a lot to time with a third artist in this group. Mark Young is a long-time running buddy. We've logged hundreds of miles training for marathons, and I've had the privilege of spending time in his studio, and adjacent home, in which much of his work is displayed. When I see one of his oils, I see Mark.
I encourage you to take advantage of where we live. Enjoy the countryside. Take a drive, see the scenery and see the art.