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Studio tours: The artist next door


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Artist Anna Kostro with some of her works during the Arts Around Greenville Studio Tour 2023. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

GREENVILLE — There is a burgeoning arts community right here in our backyard, and those talents were on display this weekend during the second annual Arts Around Greenville Studio Tour.

The tour, held over a two-day period May 20 and 21, gave visitors an opportunity to travel from one art studio to another, meet the artists and learn about their artistic process.

For area artists without an accessible studio that can be opened to the public, there were also two public displays — in the Community Room of the Greenville Public Library on Route 32 and at The Gristmill on County Route 405. Some works were also on display at the North Barn, where visitors could pick up maps and read artists’ statements on their works.

There were 25 artists participating in the exhibit, all living within a 12-mile radius of the center of Greenville.

Arts Around Greenville member Jane Treubig did some of the scouting prior to the tour, visiting artists’ studios to make sure the site was suitable for public visitors. Getting a sneak preview of the works being done here in Greenville was eye opening.

“I got to do the studio tour on my own, one on one,” Treubig said. “It’s incredible — it really is. To go to their studios and to their houses, every house says an artist lives there — there is something there that you just go ‘ooh.’ I’m very impressed. It goes all the way from people who are just getting started and don’t know how to promote themselves to seasoned artists.”

Visitors check out the artwork on display at the Greenville Public Library, where several artists exhibited their work during the studio tour. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Preston Hollow artist Anna Kostro had two pieces on display in the North Barn at the town park and another eight in the Community Room at the library. She works mostly in acrylics and collage.

“I’m experimental,” Kostro said of her work. “I have a couple of pieces here representing my early work, which is more realistic, and my more recent work, which is abstract.”

Inspiration can come from just about anywhere, she said.

“It comes from anything and everything,” she said. “It depends on the day — sometimes it will be a picture that I see and I’ll start working on that, or I’ll go for a walk and I’ll see a couple of buildings and like the juxtaposition of boxes, triangles and circles, and then I’ll come up with an abstract. Or, if I feel very strongly about it, I may make it very realistic. It all depends on the day, the mood; it can by anything and everything.”

Cairo artist MaryJo Buzzanco participated in the studio tours for the second year in a row. She works largely in acrylics, but also dabbles in a variety of other media such as resin, watercolors, oils and carvings.

“Life is my inspiration,” she said. “Inspiration can come from anywhere. I have been doing art since I could pick up a pencil.”

Artist MaryJo Buzzanco, of Cairo, participated in the studio tour for the second year in a row. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Artist Terry Preisner, from Freehold, also participated in the studio tour for a second year. She does representational works like landscapes and still lifes.

“A lot of my work is from the local area, local scenes,” Preisner said. “I like nocturnal (scenes) — I think it’s beautiful and kind of mysterious, and I enjoy painting them.”

Sometimes her inspiration comes from far beyond the local area. One of her paintings on display was of an ocean scene from Bar Harbor, Maine.

“I have been painting about 18 years,” Preisner said. “I retired about five years ago so I have more time to improve and learn my craft a little better.”

Artist Elizabeth Hirsch explores all sorts of media, from acrylics to reliefs created with grout.

“Whatever medium comes up, I try it out and enjoy it,” she said.

The studio tour lets area residents and others see just how much of a thriving arts community there is in Greenville, Hirsch said.

“This studio tour creates excitement, especially for the public,” she said. “They see that there is an art community here, which a lot of people forget.”

That art community is itself an inspiration, Kostro said.

“It’s nice to know that we are surrounded by all of these creative people and the different ways that they are creative,” she said.

From paintings to carvings to experimental works, the studio tours offered something for everyone. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media
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