Local studios open doors to eager viewers
First Friday Art Walk showcases wide range of local art and music downtown
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 23:09
Friday, Sept. 7 marked the beginning of Burlington’s monthly Art Walks. Over 50 studios in the downtown Burlington area opened their doors to the public, displaying a variety of mediums and expressing a wide range of creativity.
Local bands and food vendors lined the sides of Main Street, fueling an energetic atmosphere while Art Hop participants “hopped” from door to door.
Printmaker Lindsey Reynolds had her first opening at station 44. Although it was her first show, Reynolds had plenty of artwork on display.
Reynolds has been printmaking since 2008, and finds her inspiration in the local scenery of Burlington. Her artwork focuses on scenes from her parents’ farm and Lake Champlain.
Another popular attraction was Bob Hoffman’s harmonica design studio.
Hoff, as he likes to be called, is an avid harmonica creator and player, and the owner of the world’s largest collection of handcrafted harmonica cases.
He began collecting cases in 2005 at the Smithsonian Craft Fair, where he asked a beadwork artist to design a harmonica case for him.
The case created for Hoff spurred his imagination and he was inspired to create original cases of his own. Hoff is open to working with a vast variety of mediums including clay, wood, glass, marble, brass, beads and even animal products such as antlers and ivory.
Hoff has had the opportunity to work with many talented artists and expensive mediums.
“I love the fact that I can wear pieces of functional art that have been co-designed with extremely talented artists from throughout the world,” Hoff said.
Hoff’s favorite case, however, is one made entirely of legos by his eight and a half-year-old grandson.
Sadly, none of Hoff’s creations will ever be for sale. Hoff epitomizes artistic purity by preserving the joy he finds in creating interesting, beautiful art while eschewing any possible economic gain.
Just down the hill and across a set of train tracks, a crowd gathered around what appeared to be a chimney on wheels.
This cedar-smelling, smoke-producing mass is one of the few open-fire kilns in the area.
The open-fire kiln method is the oldest style of kiln firing and produces a rustic, unique ceramic finish. The massive operation requires several artists’ expertise and attention.
The enormous open-fire kiln sat atop a trailer while artists and helpers tended to both the kiln and the crowd of interested spectators and buyers.
Ceramic pieces strait from the kiln, such as lamps, bowls, saucers and teakettles, lined the display tables and were available for purchase.
Check out next month’s Art Walk on Friday, Oct. 5. For more information, visit www.artmapburlington.com.