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14 Artists' Studios Opening To The Public During Annual ARTSI Tour

Olivia Rutigliano

Buy, The Last Billboard by Janet Culbertson.

Artists of Shelter Island (ARTSI) will present their ninth annual open studio event on Saturday August 18 and Sunday, August 19.

This year, there will be fourteen artists presenting their works. Janet Culbertson, Kathryn A. Cunningham, Jerry Glassberg, Amy Grabelsky, Melora Griffis, Katherine Hammond, Megan Hergrueter, Sally Jacobs Baker, Karen Kiaer, Diana Malcolmson, Joe Reilly, June Shatken Peter Waldner, and Mike Zisser will have artwork for sale as well as accept commissions.

Founded nine years ago, the ARTSI studio tour has become the summer highlight for locals as well as visitors of Long Island's East End.

"The most important thing about the ARTSI open studio event is that it allows our art to be seen, which is what every artist strives for. It's also a great way to see where and how artists' create their works. And, it's fun and a great excuse to visit Shelter Island," said spokesperson, Liz Hartman.

Formed partly in response to the Artist Alliance of East Hampton's studio tour which covers a wide area of the East End, Janet Culbertson, a founding member of ARTSI and an environmental artist explained, "We found that the range was just too far and too few people were making it all the way to Shelter Island, so we decided to form our own group."

Intended to be a small, very selective group, membership is juried by a group of five, decided in January by closely examining the artist's work as well as background. A formal degree in art is not required, many of ARTSI's artists are retired from other professions, but all are fine artists creating in photography, painting, digital art, sculpting and mixed media.

Culbertson is a nature and environmental painter. She uses mixed media and iridescent pigments. "I feel that art, whether beautiful or abrasive, can be a force capable of creating a greater ecological awareness for the world," she says.

Cunningham draws in charcoal and then paints spontaneous images that "magically appear on the blank canvas," she describes. She is inspired by the human gesture.

Glassberg produces sculptures in bronze, marble, cast stone as well as outdoor garden sculptures.

Grabelsky creates sculptures of fantasy creations.

Griffis splits her time between New York City and Shelter Island. Her work connects themes of performance, installation, soft sculpture and writing.

Hammond is an abstract journey painter, using watercolor, ink, and crayon. "The child in me remains while I paint. I please only me with my paintings. If my paintings please you, then the child in you has awakened," she reflected.

Hergrueter is inspired by the natural word and prefers simple, organic shapes, soothing to both hand and eye. She uses different firing techniques that give each pot its own unpredictable beauty.

Baker is a marble and wood sculptor, representing works in her daily life and her love of movement. Currently, her subject of choice is horses.

Kiaer is a contemporary artist who uses multiple mediums to create her pieces.

Malcolmson captures her love for horses in her classic oil paintings, oil-on-canvas and pastel sketches.

Reilly does mostly paintings in acrylics and oil but also creates handmade books.

Shatken excels in mixed media paintings and collages in photography. Her style is wide ranged, inspired by nature and spirituality.

Waldner describes his love for his work as: "The joy I feel on a day that I get to paint is similar to the joy I felt as a kid when hearing there was no school because it was a snow day."

Zisser has created large body of works using a wide range of mediums.

Admission to the open tour, which will take place from 12 to 5 p.m. on both days, is free.

For further information and a map of the sites, visit arts.info.

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