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Tour to feature artists’ studios

September 19, 2013 - Mohawk Currents

FORT PLAIN — Ten area artists will open their studios to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday during 2013 Artists’ Studio Tours, coordinated by the Arts Factory of Montgomery County.

Committee member Kathy Van Loan, an art teacher in the Canajoharie Central School District, said most of this year’s artists are located around Fort Plain, which sustained extensive damage from late-June flooding.

“With the flood and everything that happened in Fort Plain, this is a way to celebrate a positive event. Hopefully people will come out and help us celebrate the arts,” she said in a news release.

Participants include Canajoharie jewelry-maker Dontay Fowler, who crafts unique pieces. Fort Plain artists include sculptor and painter Armand Gilanyi, a student of the Beaux-Arts, Paris, who graduated from the National Academy of Art in Budapest, Hungary. Gilanyi works in bronze.

Other Fort Plain artists include Julie Takacs, who creates mixed-media collages, and doll-maker Cheryl Loadwick, who creates dolls with folk-art-inspired faces that are “born from a love of antiques, old textiles and the dolls that reside in books and museums.” Loadwick’s daughter, Emily, who creates hand-sewn, reproduction clothing from the 1740s to the 1840s, also resides in Fort Plain.

Others from the Fort Plain area are Prospect Street photographer Philip Scalia, whose works range from traditional photography to “digital deconstructions,” and Nelliston painter Steven Donovan, who is known for his abstract landscape and architectural-style paintings.

Artists with a studio along Route 80, in the flood-ravaged town of Minden, include Richard Pugliese, whose paintings reflect a concern “with color and the tactile quality of paint.” His works are influenced by the seasonal changes of the valley carved out by Otsquago Creek as well as by rural 19th century architecture.

His wife, Ginny, is a folk artist whose works are also influenced by the rural character of their home and surroundings.

St. Johnsville resident Melanie “Tiny” Shuster will display her opalescent porcelain and glass works, who has painted in the Dresden style throughout her 40-plus year “addiction” to the craft.

After the tour, visitors are encouraged to patronize three area restaurants that have added specials to their regular menus in celebration of the studio tours: Mercato Restaurant and Pizzeria, 38 W. Main St., Canajoharie; The Table restaurant, 70 Canal St., Fort Plain; and Cosmo’s Bar & Grill, 17 W. Main St., St. Johnsville.

Tickets and maps with directions to participating studios cost $10 and are available until 1 p.m. Saturday at the Mohawk Valley Collective Tourism Information Center, 89 Church St., Canajoharie, the Plain Food Co-op, which recently relocated to River Street in Fort Plain and Cosmo’s Bar & Grill, 17 W. Main St., St. Johnsville.

For questions or for more information, call 542-6573 after 4 p.m., 673-5730 or 542-0542.

The Arts Factory of Montgomery County was formed to organize and promote area artists, artisans and art-venue services. Its goal is to stimulate cultural opportunities for the residents of and visitors to the western Montgomery County area.


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St. Johnsville porcelain and glass artist Melanie “Tiny” Shuster displays one of her pieces. She is one of 10 western Montgomery County artists whose works will be displayed during artists’ studio tours coordinated by the Arts Factory of Montgomery County from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. (Photo submitted)


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