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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Open Door Art Studios brings artists together

The Open Door Art Studios held its second open door event in Downtown Davis on Friday, May 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. The studio is located on 231 G Street in the Court and Cedar Plaza. It spans several units and occupies a large portion of the second floor.

Open Door is currently a collective effort between a group of artists looking to showcase their work and to create an interest in the procedure of making art. Each artist will be able to rent a space in the studio and subsequently work on and showcase their art in said space.

The first opening back in April received positive support, including prominent local figures such as several city council members. The summer heat and Whole Earth Festival may have slightly hampered Friday’s turnout, the organizers said.

Marieke de Waard, an art teacher at the UC Davis Craft Center, is one of the artists participating in the studio.

“We want to be as diverse as possible, meaning photographers, quilters, painters, even sculptors,” de Waard said. “We hope it will evolve.”

On display were a variety of works ranging from abstract paintings to photographs. In the future, the space will have actual artists working in them alongside displays of their work. People will be encouraged to not only admire the artwork, but to get a chance to ask the artists themselves about techniques, inspirations or anything else.

“Everything is in Davis already, we have the art galleries, we have the art school, and this is not meant to be a competition, it’s meant to be a supplement,” de Waard said. “Something kind of in-between, so if the art school would do something with us, we are here to cooperate with each other.”

De Waard was also very open to students coming in and getting involved too. When the studio is fully underway, there will be plans to keep it open until 8 p.m. Students could come in after eating downtown and enjoy the art.

Jamie Anderson, a veterinarian who runs a practice in San Francisco, is an abstract artist on the side. She has three degrees from UC Davis, but has never taken an art class.
“In 2004, I went into an art gallery and I saw these beautiful abstract works. And something just clicked in me. I’ve never done art before. I’ve never purchased any art before, but after purchasing two works I became passionate about abstract art,” Anderson said. “There’s something really freeing about abstract art because anybody who looks at it may see something different.”

For Anderson, art is more of an outlet, something totally separate from the circumstances she has to deal with as a veterinarian. She wants to see the art community thrive in Davis.
“That’s what the world needs, some sharing and kindness and have it not be so serious,” said Anderson.

Ben Tuason, a photographer who moved to Davis recently, showcased a different facet of art at the event. He previously had an art venture in Sacramento and has work featured at Crepeville.
Tuason held a casual interest in photography since his college years. At first he would primarily do family or personal portraits, but with time his work became less focused on the people themselves and more on moments in time.

“I can go back to a place and catch the same picture again,” said Tuason. “With trees and landscapes you can go back one hundred times and still capture the same picture. But by capturing that one moment in time, it gives it some dimension that you cannot recapture.”

“If I was late or too early, I would not be able to capture this particular action,” he said in regards to a photograph of a boy suspended in motion on a bustling street.

Each artist specializes in vastly different areas of art, but they can all come together for a singular cause: encouraging a keener interest in art for the community.

De Waard said students have not shown a strong interest in the studio as of yet, but they are more than welcome to do so.

“They should bother us,” de Waard said.

Plans are still underway for the full opening of the studio and each artist will have to go through an impartial jury selection process before they are allowed to work at the site.
Further updates and additional information can be found at opendoorartstudios.org.

ANDREW POH can be reached city@theaggie.org.

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