Colorado Springs Independent

Front Range Open Studios Tour weekend bridges the gap between artist and audience

Alissa Smith Sep 7, 2018 1:00 AM
Courtesy Front Range Open Studios
Front Range Open Studios Tour, Sept. 8-9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., various locations throughout Monument, Colorado, free,
Last year, my first stop on the Front Range Open Studios tour was glass artist Nancy Bonig’s studio at her home in Monument. Nestled among trees along a sunny, winding mountain road, the Bonig studio isn’t intuitively located in a downtown corridor, or even in town. Because, typically, this is a private space that Bonig uses to create her artwork. But when I arrived, Bonig helped me and other visitors design a glass plate using materials and techniques that she has been using her entire artistic career. She walked us through the process step-by-step, excited to share her work. Every studio I visited that day, whether I found artists demonstrating their own techniques or sharing their completed pieces, felt similarly intimate.

Creative pursuits occupy so much time, energy and heart, but as Bonig points out, the creation of art is often a solitary practice. That’s why the Front Range Open Studios Tour benefits both the artist and the audience. Attendees can tour the massive studio of blacksmith Jodie Bliss while she explains her complex equipment, enjoy horsehair pottery demonstrations at Terre Christensen’s studio, join Kathleen Krucoff in her home to observe her techniques in jewelry fabrication and metalsmithing, or check out any of the 18 total stops on the tour this year. This weekend presents one of those rare and exciting opportunities to reach across the divide of audience and artist, and to meet some of the people who keep the region’s art scene alive.