Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Art fans bond with local artists

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Art fans bond with local artists
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Have you ever wondered about the story behind a work of art? The Artists' Studio Tour is giving fans the chance to meet 41 artists from Saint Lawrence County. Our Barry Wygel takes a look at how it helps the North Country art community.

POTSDAM, N.Y. -- It is a chance for art enthusiasts to experience artwork in a new way.

"For people to see us working in our very own studio, it brings an up-closeness to the process, with feeling and respect for the artist, and we get to know the people that really appreciate the arts in the community as well," said Leigh Chapman, a local artist.

This is Leigh's second year taking part in the studio tour. Leigh specializes in creating cards, particularly Christmas cards. With the birth of her son George she's expanding her talents, writing and illustrating children's books. The studio tour gives her a chance to display and sell her work.

"People give you inspiration to keep going. They were actually feeding the process too, because they were encouraging us to keep doing what we already are doing," said Chapman.

People may not think of the North Country as a center for the arts, but local artists are working to change that, noting that the area has a lot to offer.

"It's kind of a rural area, you don't see many houses or traffic, but you see a lot of different things, different styles, different creativity," said Sharon Cheng, local artist.

Cheng does art shows in New York City and sends her art to Taiwan. She said having people come to her house is very rewarding.

"Here people can come over and can see my work and ask questions," said Cheng.

Many local artists rely on shows like the Studio Tour to sell their art, helping them make enough money to continue doing what they love.

The Artists' Studio Tour is organized by the Saint Lawrence County Arts Council. They operate a local art galley all year long in downtown Potsdam.

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