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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

‘Open Studios’ invites community inside workshops of artists

Local artists showed off their studio spaces during Chico Art Center’s annual “Open Art Studios” event in which the community was able to get a peek of where the magic happens, like a behind-the-scenes tour.

“You not only would see the end of the work, but you’re also seeing the whole process and meeting the artist,” gallery director Cameron Kelly said.

Artists from Chico and Oroville participated, giving visitors a total of 60 studios to explore.

Elizabeth Newmen Kuiper, owner of Pixel Perfect Printing, opened up her studio space for the first time since remodeling. She describes her work as “cell phone fine art photography.”

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Art can come in any different shapes, sizes, material, and ideas. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

“I’ve always been a photographer, like a film photographer,” Kuiper said. “I kind of thought cell phone photography was silly until I just didn’t have another camera one day and took (a picture) with my cell phone and just immediately was just really interested. I just wanted to blow it up and see the pixels, so I found the biggest printer I could find in Chico, which was 24 inches at Chico State. (Then) I decided to go back to school and get a master’s degree in fine art photography using a cell phone.”

Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Kuiper reminisced on her experience with Open Studios.

“I actually did the first 15 years of Open Studios when I…(was) located downtown on Second Street years ago,” Kuiper said. “I haven’t for the last 15 years, so it’s the first time in 15 years I’m back. My friend Lori is a watercolor painter and this is her first time ever.”

Lori Tenmant showcased her watercolor art alongside Kuiper. Throughout the day, she had been getting compliments on the precision of her pieces.

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Photo credit: Hana Beaty

“This is very unique in terms of the use of watercolor,” Tenmant said. “I believe what I’m hearing from others, since this is my first showing and I’m very encouraged with all kinds of feedback. I’m learning that this is a very unique way of using the material and it really shows. I think most people are impressed with a steady hand and I put down the paint in layers.”

Tenmant’s advice for any artist wanting to work with watercolor is to take the rules away, use the colors and embrace whatever expression you feel.

The next Chico Art Center exhibit will be “HONORING THE DEAD” from Nov. 1-22 with a reception on Nov. 1 from 5-7 p.m.

Alex Coba can be reached at [email protected] and @ThatOneGuyCoba on Twitter

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