First Sudbury Open Studios Opens to Acclaim
Artists, residents celebrate the arts at inaugural event.
Art was the headlining event last weekend in Sudbury, where residents and artists alike waxed enthusiastic about the town's inaugural Open Studios exhibition, in which local artists had the opportunity to show and sell their work to the public at home studios, Town Hall and Grange Hall.
Some 30 artists displayed work that included paintings, photographs, furniture, jewelry, pottery and more. David Levington, president of the Sudbury Art Association, said the Open Studios got its start last April on the heels of conversations with artist friends about why the town didn't have such an event.
"A few press releases and [many] meetings later, here we are," said Levington, a potter.
"We're hoping this is the first of many" such Open Studio events, said association member and painter Michael Orzech, who displayed about 60 paintings at his home.
Artist Cathleen "CB" Bradley, whose mixed media pieces heavily feature repurposed materials, said the event was an ideal way for residents to explore the depth, and types, of art in their town.
"It's really fun to see the pocket of artists throughout the community," said Bradley, adding that she herself has been at her craft a long time—"since third grade when my teacher asked to buy my project"—and often finds her inspiration by asking herself what other form a discarded object might take.
Town Hall featured the work of about eight artists, including Sandy Wilensky, for whom painting is something of a second act. After a long career as an educator, most recently as a school principal, Wilensky said her retirement two years ago finally afforded her the time to resume what she said had always been a passion.
Returning to her art "was a very natural thing to do," said Wilensky. "I think I always knew I'd be painting someday."
Art teacher Cecilia Sharma, who coordinated the Town Hall exhibition — and herself displayed oil paintings, watercolor paintings and silk art — said residents showed a "wonderful response" to the events of the day, which also included the Harvest Craft Fair adjacent to the Open Studios display, as well as the Wayside Quilters' Show.
Potter Karin Schapiro, whose display in Grange Hall featured many pieces inspired by her childhood in South Africa, described her art as a form of therapy that helped her through the challenges of raising twins. While she said she hopes to one day have a working studio, she credited the event for giving her the opportunity to expand her fan base.
"We're much more exposed now after today," said Schapiro. "And it's been so wonderful to meet so many others in the arts and to share their stories."
For their part, residents who attended the event expressed enjoyment, despite some frustration at a difficult parking situation in the lot behind Town and Grange halls.
Elissa Putikian said the event was "good for the town" but added that "more parking would have helped."
Residents Julie Jones and Carol Abbot said the event featured "lots of quality art and variety" and seemed to surprise themselves with their own enthusiasm.
"We bought things and we weren't going to," said Abbot. "We just stopped in to look around and we ended up splurging."