By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE — From seasides and florals to tributes to the war in Ukraine, local artists showcased their works for the first-ever Arts Around Greenville Studio Tour.
The studio tour gave visitors the chance to visit with artists in their studios, learn about their artistic process and maybe even purchase a piece of artwork to bring home with them.
The Arts Around Greenville tour, held July 23 and 24, was founded by Natalie Boburka and a subcommittee of Community Partners of Greenville. Visitors could stop by Prevost Hall on Route 32, pick up a map of the studio tour, check out some artwork on display in the historic building, and then head to the studios to get up close and personal with the 22 participating artists.
Several artists also showcased their works in the community room at the Greenville Public Library.
“We are looking to showcase Prevost Hall,” said Community Partners member Debbie VonAtzingen. “And we are looking to bring other events into Greenville, which brings visitors into the town.”
In addition to the studio tour, Community Partners hosts other local events such as Greenville Day in the fall, and the summer concerts at Veterans Memorial Park. The self-guided tour began at Prevost Hall — which the town and Community Partners are in the process of transforming into a community center — and gave the group the chance to show off what the building has to offer.
“We want people to see how great Greenville is and to bring people into Prevost Hall and see what it can be,” VonAtzingen said. “Just putting the art on the wall made it seem so spectacular. I, as a local person, am so appreciative and shocked at how much talent we have just within a 15-mile radius of here — artists and musicians. We are so rich in that way. I want people to know that.”
Artist Pamela Quick offered some of her paintings for sale at the library’s community room.
“I do a lot of nature scenes,” Quick said of her work. “My inspiration comes from nature.”
Cairo artist MaryJo Buzzanco was actually working on a painting at the library and let visitors see how she works on her art. It has been a lifelong passion for her.
“I’ve always been interested in art,” Buzzanco said. “We have three generations, that we know of, in our family that were painters. I also do wood carvings, a little bit of clay and acrylics, and some oils.”
Buzzanco welcomed the opportunity to participate in Arts Around Greenville to showcase her work and learn about fellow artists and their inspirations.
“It’s so important to have all the artists able to connect with each other and to see others’ ideas and talk about what we are doing,” Buzzanco said. “It’s also wonderful being able to meet with the public like this.”
Lifelong Greenville resident Terry Preisner creates landscape and still-life paintings, and works mainly in oil paints, but she also does some watercolors, which she described as “a little more relaxing.”
Preisner essentially transformed much of her home into an artist’s studio and draws much of her inspiration from the local nature scenes in her Greenville neighborhood.
“I live in the King Hill area and I have painted some fields there,” Preisner said. “I did a large painting this past year, looking at the back of this farm, with all the wildflowers. I like to study the landscape, I work mostly from photos, especially for my landscapes.”
Artist Ann Marie Plass never knows when inspiration will strike.
“Most of my ideas come from the inside out,” Plass said. “I sometimes don’t know what I am going to do but it comes to me as I’m working. I use a lot of mixed medium, I use a lot of different paints and inks. I start putting it together and as I’m doing that, somehow it ends up being something. And then, when I’m looking at it, it makes me feel really good.”
Plass uses everything from wood that she cuts into a canvas in her basement to burlap — she likes to mix things up.
She pointed to a painting that evolved as she was creating it.
“When I did this piece, I wasn’t having such a wonderful day and I remember thinking, painting makes me feel really good. It makes me feel safe,” Plass said. “When I looked at that [painting], I felt good and I knew everything was going to be OK.”