Orr Street Studios celebrated it’s fifth anniversary on Saturday with an open house, complete with birthday cake and painting demonstrations. The event ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and was free and open to the public. Many of the artists were on hand, either as part of the demonstrations or to talk to about their art and to see their studio spaces. Also on display were two boards, one with photos of the studio site during various stages of construction and the other showcasing information on the award the studio received for it’s design (I forgot to jot down the name of the actual award–if a reader can post it in the comments, I’d be happy to edit for it). Visitors could also take a seat and watch a five minute documentary on the history of the building.
Overall, I would describe the open house as a low-key event, assuming most of the buzz occurred the night before during their Silent Auction and Cocktail party. Tickets for that event were $25 and reservations were required. I wasn’t able to attend but spoke with Donna Brunet who rents a studio space to display her macro photography of insects and flowers, and she estimated attendance to be near 100. Regardless of the official head count, it sounds like the auction was quite a success with many of the items donated by the studio artists selling for near or over their suggested value.
When my family arrived around 11:30 on Saturday we were warmly welcomed by Orr Street director, Mary Kroening. While my son immediately gravitated toward the large sheet cake near the front door, my husband and I were drawn to the unique collection of mid-century chairs set up in front of a small video screen in photographer Anastasia Pottinger’s studio. Some of the artists were prepping for painting demonstrations of a table-top still life scene that was set up in the central part of the building. Others were in their studios working on various pieces or just available to chat with visitors as they wandered from space to space. As expected, my son soon became bored, so my husband left with him and I was free to explore and photograph some of what we experienced. As with so many of the Orr Street events that I’ve attended, I left with an impression of a great sense of community among the studio artists and their collective desire to share their space and talents with the public.
I’m uploading more photos from this event to our Facebook page, including information on the artists pictured. Check back this afternoon for a direct link, or go there now and “like” our page to receive updates when new posts and photo galleries are added.
UPDATE: You can find the full gallery of images from this event HERE!