When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time in my grandmother’s painting studio, a generously sized sunroom with plenty of light pouring in so she didn’t fight shadow-casts on her canvases or inaccuracy in paint colors.

It’s a bit different than my puny jewelry working area, where the lighting is so bad that sometimes I must step outside to the daylight to ensure there’s a match in the colors of my beads.

It’s a misnomer to believe that every artist has a spacious studio with abundant work and storage areas. Some are lucky enough to have bedroom, basement or garage space to work in. But there are more than a few — some of them award-winning artists — who find workspace in little more than utility rooms or large closets.

The tour will spotlight those with professional studio and gallery space or have studios converted from home spaces.

Scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the tour will take people to where artists do their creating, offering an opportunity to become acquainted with local artists, view their varied workspaces, and explore the tools and processes of their profession. It will include studios where artwork is created in pottery and other clay forms, weaving, wood turning, photography and painting.

There will be 13 featured studios with 26 artists showing their wares, some of them doing demonstrations.

The tour will take visitors to studios throughout Joplin, west to the Carl Junction area, east to the Diamond area, and south to Saginaw.

Watch for JRAC Studio Tour signs that designate the studios.

Tour maps will be available at Martin Luther School, 26th and Connecticut, which is serving as the tour headquarters, where a couple of artists will be showing their artwork, and there will be a display of artwork that can won in drawings.

Each artist on the tour has donated a piece to the drawings. Tour visitors may purchase $10 signature cards to be signed by artists along the tour, qualifying visitors for the art drawings.

The signature cards are an enticement to visit as many of the studios as possible.

“Each artist represents their own unique perspective and it would be a shame to miss any of them,” said Daria Claiborne, a local clay artist, a founding member of JRAC and the tour coordinator.

She lobbied JRAC for such a tour in part as a fundraiser but primarily to give artists exposure and to take the public to where art is created rather than only viewing finished pieces in galleries and exhibits.

This could be an enlightening experience for the public and, particularly, for newbie artists desiring to see how professional studios are set up or carved out of spaces in homes and outbuildings. It’s just another way to support local art.

Contact Marta Churchwell with column ideas and comments at mpchurchwell04@yahoo.com.

The tour

The JRAC Studio Tour will include the following studio locations and artists:

· Martin Luther School, 26th and Connecticut, tour headquarters. Artists will include painters Dustin Miller and Brooks-Elizabeth Billings.

· Connie Miller studio, 25426 Amsterdam, off Hwy 171, west of Stone’s Corner, featuring paintings.

· Brad Brackin studio, 212 1/2 W. Fifth, suite 213, featuring paintings.

· Mary Datum studio, 1102 Oakmont Drive in the Oak Pointe subdivision, off South Jackson, featuring paintings.

· Cyndi Cogbill studio, 4940 Highway 43, south of Interstate 44, featuring polymer clay work.

· Debbie and Richard Reed studio (Mosaics Gallery), 1009 E. 20th St., featuring paintings and pottery.

· Sandra Parrill studio, 4001 Indiana, featuring paintings, jewelry and other media.

· Steve and Valerie Doerr studio, 4225 Wisconsin, featuring wood turning.

· Daria Claiborne studio, 3402 Finley, featuring pottery.

· Barbara Dedrickson studio, 501 Foxfire Court, east of Northpark Mall, featuring pine needle woven baskets, and jewelry by Kristin Girard, fiber work by Brenda Hayes, and glasswork by Dianne Miller.

· Jane Ballard studio, 1100 N. Prosperity Road, featuring photography, plus a variety of media by Marian Chamberlain.

· April Davis studio, 5245 Old Highway 71, east of Highway V, near Saginaw, featuring paintings and artists Becky Golubski, Kristin Huke and Helen Kunze, also painters.

· Skinner’s Pottery Studio, 19099 Aspen Road, southeast of the intersection of highways 59 and F, north of Diamond, featuring pottery, plus the clay work of Angel Brame and Melody Knowles, and paintings of Tom Jones.

Marta is an arts columnist for The Joplin Globe.

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