Artists pleased with Studio Tour turnout

       There apparently was no “sophomore jinx” in the second year of the Art Studio Tour Nov. 13-14.
       Two Westside artists - Douglas Rouse and Deb Komitor - estimated that they had twice as many visitors as last year, while others also mentioned higher numbers and offered a variety of favorable comments.
       “Lots of enthusiasm,” reported Christen Weathers, a paper artist who showed at her Bear Creek home studio with Caron O'Neil, a neighbor who fashions art from found objects. “Some people who came on Saturday returned on Sunday to make purchases.”
       “It was a wonderful weekend, tons of people,” said Laura Reilly, who works out of her gallery in Old Colorado City. “We were as busy Sunday as Saturday, and all our visitors said what a great idea it was.”
       Komitor added her belief that “everyone really enjoyed” the drawings for free art - one at each studio - “and I think it encouraged people to hit more studios.” Komitor, who creates clay sculptures and textured clay paintings in her home studio, joined with painter Lorraine Danzo for one of the stops on the tour.
       The event, organized by 17 artists in the downtown, Westside and Manitou Springs, allowed the public to visit nine studios for free over a two-day span. Visitors got to meet the artists and were offered refreshments.
       Rouse is a professional muralist (with recent jobs inside two area businesses) who creates smaller art pieces using arrangements of recycled materials - such as stir-sticks or paint-pan remains from his mural jobs.
       The Air Academy High School graduate met his wife, Kasia, during a nine-year sojourn in Europe. The two of them are now working to complete his partially finished Rouse 66 Studios at their house/studio at 2217 W. Colorado Ave.
       For the tour, Rouse shared the space with custom woodworker William Anderson and expressionistic painter John Sherman - but Rouse said he hopes to have a fully finished gallery ready for a public grand opening next summer.
       Anderson and Sherman also work as radiologists at a medical facility on Colorado Avenue.
       Reilly, a long-time landscape artist who moved to her current location at 2616 W. Colorado Ave. this year, said she's glad she did. ”It's great to be a part of the Westside community,” she said. “The space here feels very comfortable.”
       Another of the five Westside studios on the tour was Willow Bend Studios, where Marc Jenesel and Karen Pierce combine to create multimedia woven vessels. “Marc and I had a very positive experience,” Pierce said. “There was a constant flow of people - we figure 200-250 over the course of the weekend... It was great to hear their feedback and hear why they came and what they do.”

Westside Pioneer Article