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Sac Art Studios Open

Studio of Ianna Frisby.

Studio of Ianna Frisby.

The annual Sac Open Studios program, now in its 11th year, includes 150 artists in over six cities in Sacramento County. From 10am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, participating Sac Open Studio artists welcomed visitors into their normally private studio spaces where they answered questions about their ideas and processes, talked about past and future projects, and invited guests to get involved in the creative process. At Verge Center for the Arts, a variety of artistic genres were represented including multimedia installation art, painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, and ceramics.

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A number of the artists at Verge, including Glenda and Jesse Drew, encouraged visitors to participate in the artistic experience. In relation to their upcoming feature-length documentary, Open Country, about the politics of American Country Music, Glenda and Jesse set up a “film bar” in their studio. They served club soda, root beer, and sparkling conversation. Clips from their documentary played within frames and  the likes of Merle Haggard and Wanda Jackson performed on the television behind the bar, controlled by a digital jukebox.

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Most of the artists displayed their completed artwork in their workspaces, alongside their materials and in progress projects. One of the most fascinating aspects of open studios is the ability to see the artists’ work spaces and materials. When visitors entered Lisa Marasso’s studio, they found her painting a group of wooden panels with floral designs amidst her completed floral paintings and installations, which were displayed on the walls and shelves of her studio.

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Perhaps the most colorful corner of Verge was Gioia Fonda’s studio is full of playful materials including brightly colored papers, pom poms, and sequins. Some of her completed artwork was also on display, including her vibrant hand sewn flags and a panel from her collaborative community art project Give a Fork, which addresses food insecurity and nutrition within Sacramento’s District 5.

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During open studios, visitors get a glimpse into the creative process. They see artists’ completed artwork, their inspirations, their materials, and their current process. Visitors have the opportunity to connect with artists in the place they feel most comfortable and inspired. There is still another weekend of Sac Open Studios so don’t miss out!

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Sac Open Studios are September 10-11 & 17-18, 2016, 10:00 am-5:00 pm. Visit for more information or pick up a guide at Verge Center for the Arts located at 625 S Street, Sacramento.

Words and Photos: Justina Martino


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