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Spotlight on the Arts: Open Studio Tours

Spotlight on the Arts: Open Studio Tours


(soft upbeat music) – Hello, and welcome to
Spotlight on the Arts. I’m Mark Mclemore. Getting an inside view
of the artistic process and making a wide range
of locally produced works of art available to the public, that’s what Open Studio
Tours are all about. The Arts Foundation for
Tucson in Southern Arizona has organized two
different self-guided tours during the first and second
weekends in November. Here with me now, are Elizabeth von Isser
and Tony von Isser. Both, local artists who will be among more than 150 creatives that you can visit during the next Open Studio Tours. Thank you for being here. Elizabeth, tell me, what’s
the origin of your connection with Open Studio Tours? How far do you go back with this? – I began painting in 2006 and did, I think, my first
Open Studio Tour in 2008. – What are some comments you get back, and what makes it something
that you want to do each year? – I think that one of the nicest
parts about it is that Tony and I are pretty introverted and so, having people come to our studios as part of the Open Studio
Tour is a great opportunity for us to be in a space
that we’re comfortable. And I think, having our
studio space in our home makes it comfortable for the people that come to visit us too. – So Tony, how do you describe the creative work that you do? – I’ve been accumulating
metal pieces, junk, scrap, dumpster diving for many years. And I like to take those things and create something out of it. It’s very rewarding to
take what most people will think is scrap and
turn it into something that’s sort of whimsical
or fun and artistic. – Do you ever find yourself
holding on to an unusual piece that you’re looking for
a way to work into a sculpt? – There, I used to say, “I’m gonna save this
for something special.” And now I’m saying, “I’m just gonna use it
if I have a use for it.” And yes, I’ve been doing
that for a long time. And I have quite an
accumulation of rusty relics and I’m using quite a few of them now. – How far do you go back
with the Open Studio Tours? – This is my fourth year I think. I retired five years ago. And now that I have more time, I’m participating with my wife doing this. We have a lot of fun. – Mm hmm. – Do you feed off of
each others creativity? What kind of support
have you been called upon in the past maybe to provide
for Tony’s work Elizabeth? – When either one of us gets stuck we’ll call the other one in and say, “Okay, I need, I need you
to take a look at this.” You know, “What do I do
here or how do I fix this?” Or, ya, you know, if he
gets stuck he’ll say, “Do you have a couple of minutes” and I’ll go out to his– – I’m calling on Liz quite a bit and she’ll come out
and I’ll have something laid out and she’ll say, “Well, try this.” And she’ll move it around a bit. And it makes all the difference. So, I have my own built in
consultant and it’s wonderful. – Well, what about the
potential of a collaboration? Have you done that yet? – We actually have done that. – Yeah, we have. – Yeah, we have. I did a painting of a bobcat and the face of it is the painting but then Tony did metal
work to complete his head. It really turned out very nice. – For people who have never
taken the self-guided tours and explored this artistic side of Tucson, what advice would you give? – You can meet a lot of great people. And, get a lot of great ideas. And there’s lots of studios that are open. And, lots to see. And, the weather is
always nice in November. And, it’s just a great
time to get out and meet people and get some
ideas and get inspired. – Yeah, there’s maps and lists
of all the different artists. And what Tony and I do on, for instance weekends that
we’re not doing the tour, but other people are, we’ll go through the
listings and we’ll say, “Oh, that looks interesting.” Or, “Oh, I think I’d like
to see this person’s work.” And, we’ll create a
little map for ourselves of where we’re going to go. There’s so many different
studios to go to. So many different artists to see. And, you, I mean, you can’t do it all. But, you can pick and choose which things look most interesting. – Thank you so much for coming
to share your perspective. Elizabeth von Isser and Tony von Isser. There are two different Open Studio Tours being offered in November. The first are for studios that are located North of Grant road. And that happens on November 2nd and 3rd. That’ll be followed by the
studios South of Grant road. Those tours are on November 9th and 10th. You can plot your own route by using the digital map at artsfoundtucson.org. Thank you for watching
Spotlight on the Arts. (soft upbeat music) (pleasant music)

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