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Countywide tour explores artists’ studios

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Art lovers will be in for a treat as artists throughout St. Lawrence County show off their work — and work spaces — in the St. Lawrence County Arts Council’s 26th annual Artists’ Studio Tour over Veterans Day weekend.

From Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, visitors will have an opportunity to see art demonstrations and works in progress, as well as purchase artwork such as paintings, stained glass, pottery, jewelry, metal sculptures and more.

The tour will consist of 27 stops and feature the work of 35 artists.

Rebekah L. Wilkins-Pepiton, who became executive director of the St. Lawrence County Arts Council at the beginning of the year, said that, although many of the artist have been participating for years, there are several new ones to see this year.

Scott L. Ouderkirk, Hammond, an artist who has been working with stained glass for the past 10 years and who recently moved up to St. Lawrence County from Corning, will host one of the stops on the tour.

Mr. Ouderkirk had been a high school teacher for years, but quit his job to focus on his artistry.

“I’m excited to show my new studio that I just built,” he said. “I work mainly in glass including stained, fused and kiln-fired glass but also create pen and ink drawings.”

Mr. Ouderkirk said he constructed his new studio using wood from a Luhrs mahogany boat, which he was not able to repair.

Other artists participating have been showing their art in the county for years.

Sara E. Lynch said she will be showing off a wide array of her work inside her studio space at 41 Elm St., Potsdam.

Ms. Lynch shifts between traditional artistic mediums such as mixed media and pottery to making jewelry using found objects.

“I like to reuse objects other people might throw away,” she said. “Using plastic animals, I was able to create vintage buttons.” She said she is often commissioned to create mortuary pet urns and toppers for wedding cakes.

With the help of a microenterprise grant from Clarkson University, Ms. Lynch said, she was happy to move back home to practice her passion in the north country.

Winged Camel Metalworks, owned by Mary Ann Owen and her husband, J. Malcolm Owen Jr., also will be a stop on the tour. The Owens have a shop at their Pierrepont home with a display area to show off the jewelry and other metal objects they make.

Mrs. Owen said this will be the first studio tour since the art council’s gift shop on Market Street in Postdam closed in August.

“A lot of us don’t have another place in the county to sell our work,” she said. “It was nice to be able to tell people during the tour that they can find our work there.”

Mrs. Owen said she is looking forward to the opportunity to meet fellow artists at the artist reception Nov. 9, a new feature to the tour this year. The reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, or TAUNY, 53 Main St., Canton.

“We’re all pretty spread out, but it’s always nice to get together and meet other artists,” Mrs. Owen said.

Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton decided to have the meet-and-greet for the artists.

“It’s a chance for everyone to mingle in the same room and chat,” she said. “It’s about building a greater community.”

Johnson Newspapers writer Amanda Purcell contributed to this story.

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