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Get Your Art On
by Jessica Carner
Sep 10, 2011 | 2561 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Tribune/Dan McGee Craftsman Ryan Adams shapes what will become a fluted bowl in his studio Burnt Knuckle Glass.
SPARKS – Reno and Sparks are full of artists, you just have to know where to look.

This weekend, 38 artists at 30 local studios are opening their doors to the public and providing free demonstrations. Reno Open Studios 2011 is a self-guided, self-paced tour offered free of charge.

Tours began Friday and will continue today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Maps are available at a number of locations throughout the city or can be downloaded at www.renoopenstudios.com.

Several Sparks-based artists are participating in Reno Open Studios, including pottery maker Robin Felt, glassblower Ryan Adams and painter Mike Bond.

Felt’s pottery studio is located in her backyard at 1605 Ninth St. and she invites everyone to stroll through her gardens and small studio.

Felt has been creating pottery for about 10 years now, and said on Friday that she has a lot of fun with clay.

“I always liked pottery,” she said, and then she ran into Dale Pappas (who also is participating in the Reno Open Studios tour) and began taking lessons. “I ended up buying a wheel, but then I found out I liked creating without the wheel, so I bought a slab wheel and a kiln.”

When she is crafting, Felt said she comes up with ideas as she goes.

“I just kind of let the clay speak to me,” she said.

At Felt’s studio, guests will see a wide range of subjects from seahorses to lighthouses to faces.

“I really like making the faces,” Felt said. “Well, really they are decanters with faces.”

The artwork on display at the studios this weekend is for sale, and Felt said artists are selling raffle tickets to raise money for a scholarship fund. The artists of Reno Open Studios were able to give out $3,000 in scholarships last year.

“All the artists donated pieces for the raffle,” Felt said, “so there is a really good chance of winning something.”

Raffle tickets cost $2 for one ticket, $5 for five tickets or $10 for 20 tickets.

“All the artists should have raffle tickets,” Felt said.

Adams’ studio, Burnt Knuckle Glass, is located at 1236 Glendale Ave. #104. This artist has been “playing with glass” for about 10 years, but has had a studio at the current location for three years.

“What we have set up here is more than you will see in northern Nevada,” Adams said Friday morning as he twirled some melted glass on the end of a blowpipe.

After graduating from McQueen High School, Adams received a B.S. in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno.

“I continue with a career in the mining industry today, but have discovered a passion for manipulating molten glass,” Adams wrote on the Reno Open Studios Facebook page. “As I started my education in engineering, I began to experiment with glass working, applying a scholastic understanding of materials science with a truly amazing and unique art form.”

Adams is mostly self-taught, but said he has had the opportunity to work with a number of accomplished artists from the United States and Italy. Next week he will begin teaching an advanced art course in glass blowing for UNR.

Bond’s studio is located at 5470 High Rock Way. Visitors will have the opportunity to see his acrylic and oil paintings of contemporary western landscapes.

“As I continue to paint and evolve as an artist so has my range of subject matter — from desert landscape to Sierra mountains, lake scenes,” Bond wrote on Facebook. “Ghost towns and western subjects are also of keen interest. And because I enjoy skiing, I was inspired to create a series of winter scenes.”

Bond said he is inspired by the landscapes of Nevada and California.

“They allow me to express my feelings and awe of the beauty of nature in the use of bold colors and brush strokes in my acrylic paintings,” he wrote.

For information on all the artists, visit www.renoopenstudios.com or search for “Reno Open Studios” on Facebook.

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