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Newton Art Takes Center Stage at Annual Spring Open Studios

Nearly 180 Newton artists will have their work on display this weekend as part of Newton Open Studios' Annual Spring Open Studios event.

Although Newton photographer Sharon Schindler just recently started focusing on promoting her work, she's been looking at life through a camera lens for years.

"Ever since I picked up my first 35mm camera I've been hunting images," Schindler says. 

Schindler, who recently put together a book of photos of the old Newton North High School, is one of nearly 180 Newton artists featured in this weekend's Spring Open Studios, and one of several who attended the show's preview event Tuesday night at the .

The annual Newton Open Studios (NOS) event will run this Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, at more than 50 locations across Newton. All the exhibits are free and open to the public from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

To view a gallery of some of this year's Spring Open Studios work, click through the photos to the right.

Schindler's work will be on display at in West Newton, a Newton Open Studios location that will also feature works by painter Zeina S. Kahhale and jewelry artist Suzi Wilder.

The 15th annual Spring Open Studios event has drawn a variety of Newton artists this year, with work ranging from paintings to photographs, jewelry to glass work.

"[The artists] this year are fantastic, it's a really strong group," says Ellen Fisher, Newton Open Studios director. 

Work will be on display across Newton in various locations including the  and many artists' homes or studios. Some of the locations with larger exhibits include the , the and the .

Helping local art fans along the way are the Spring Open Studios guidebook and website, which list all the artists and locations for this weekend's showcase. The Newton Open Studios website has also developed an interactive map as well as ways to search for artists by name, media or village. 

To view the NOS guidebook, click the .pdf above.

"[Newton Open Studios] is a great event because you have an environment with people that appreciate art," says Tim Szal, a Newton Upper Falls resident and glass artist who will have several of his delicately designed lamps on display at the Newton Cultural Center this weekend. 

Szal, who was also at the preview event Tuesday, has been working with glass for 12 years. In addition to his glass lamps, Szal designs glass "bulls eyes", which hang in windows, as well as up-cycled pieces made from scrap glass. 

Photographer Marcy Stuart is another artist who will be featured at the Newton Cultural Center this weekend. Stuart, a Newtonville resident, will showcase photographs from her trip to Havana, Cuba.

"When I combine travel with photography, it's just heaven for me," Stuart says. 

Stuart, who participated in Newton Open Studios five years ago, explains that the Spring Open Studios event is a way for her to move her photography business forward, get her name out and motivate herself to seek new photography work. 

Auburndale artist Donna June is also hoping to promote more of her work through this year's Spring Open Studios event. In particular, she's hoping to show off some of her new wall art.

June, who will have her work on display at her home at 346 Lexington St. #1, says that she has mostly worked with painted pottery and furniture. This year, though, she wanted to "start putting [the art] on the walls." 

During Tuesday's preview event, June had a multi-panel painting on display that fit together in several ways, so the piece could be rearranged to look differently depending on how the panels are hung on the wall.

This is June's second Newton Open Studios showcase, an event she says is not like many other exhibits out there.

"It's nice to participate with so many artists," June says. "You don't get just one person [in the showcase], you get a variety of people."

While the exhibits are generally scheduled to be open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., some Open Studios locations will feature special events, previews and extended hours. For more details and information on this weekend's Spring Open Studios, check out the Newton Open Studios website

Nancy Brown May 17, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Great write up of a favorite event and some of our favorite artists.
Melanie Graham (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Thanks, Nancy!

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