By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE — Greenville and surrounding communities are bursting with talent, and the second annual Arts Around Greenville Studio Tour will showcase all they have to offer.
The group Arts Around Greenville, a subcommittee of Community Partners of Greenville, will host its second annual studio tour on May 20 and 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A preview reception will also be held on May 7, from 2-5 p.m., at the North Barn at George V. Vanderbilt Town Park on Route 32, where they will be able to pick up tour maps, view a slide show and check out the works of the artists that will be on the tour two weeks later. There will also be live music from the local band Moonrocka, and a silent auction.
On the two days of the studio tour, on May 20 and 21, maps will again be available at the North Barn in George V. Vanderbilt Town Park on Route 32 and then visitors will travel from studio to studio, meeting with artists, checking out the tools of their trade and learning about their artistic process.
The studio tour first held in 2022 also gave rise to an increasingly active artists’ group that gives local talent a chance to share ideas and fellowship, and learn about opportunities in the local art world.
“Last year we did this for the first time. We had 19 artists who participated,” organizer Natalie Boburka said. “Because the tour went so well and people wanted more community, we created a group called Arts Around Greenville from that. We have 39 members right now. They are not all on the tour, but we get together every month and we do art salons at different studios where we talk about art, what we are making, what opportunities are out there and we also have a newsletter that we send out. It’s been a real lifeline for artists.”
Artists of all kinds have joined the newly formed Arts Around Greenville, but one group has particularly benefited, Boburka said.
“We have a variety of people — men and women of different ages — but for the women who are 60 and above who are looking for a new sense of purpose and community, this has been huge,” she said. “I had no idea how much this would affect people. This has been a huge connection for them.”
Boburka — an artist herself — said she was aided by a team of volunteers and support from local businesses to put on the studio tour.
Last year’s event showcased the studios and works of 19 artists, and this year there are 25. All participating artist studios are located within a 12-mile radius of the center of Greenville and span the communities of Medusa, Westerlo, Freehold, Earlton, South Westerlo, and, of course, Greenville.
For artists who may not have a studio that is suitable for public visitors, there will also be two central locations where several artists will gather.
“We have a couple of group locations. One is the Gristmill — there will be four artists there in a group spot,” Boburka said.
The Gristmill is located at 268 County Route 405 in Greenville. There will also be a group of nine artists at the Greenville Public Library Art Gallery, at 11177 Route 32, also in Greenville.
The studio tour makes art available to anyone, Boburka said.
“Part of the reason that I did this was to create community with artists,” Boburka said. “The second reason was because I really wanted art to be out there and accessible to everybody in the public. I hate the image that art is elitist. Art is for all of us — every single person.”
“I thought that if we had a studio tour, people would be able to go in and meet artists and talk about their process and talk about what they are doing,” she added. “They get the chance to go behind the scenes and meet the person that created this. You can have all kinds of conversations about art and you don’t need an arts background to do it. It becomes more interesting in that way.”
The studio tour will offer a glimpse into the inner workings of the art world and how art is created, Boburka said.
“This is nothing like going to a gallery,” she said. “Going to a gallery, you barely ever get to talk to an artist. With this, you are literally going to have conversations with artists and get to see how they create their art.”
Last year’s tour was held in July, but this year’s event was moved to May. There is no cost to attend the reception or the studio tour.