Not to Miss This Weekend: AMR Open Studios Tour 2015

This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, July 25 – 26, from 11 am to 5 pm over twenty artists in Roxbury, Halcottsville, Margaretville, Fleischmanns, Halcott Center, Arkville, and Pine Hill will open their studios to the public, and show their working spaces.

A good place to start the tour is the Wawaka (Halcottsville) Grange, which is true to its original function as a Grange and General Store. Refreshments, bathrooms, and handicap access are available at this location. The Catskill Mountain Quilters Guild group show as well as Katherine Somelofski, Kathleen Green and Oneida Hammond will exhibit their works at the Wawaka Grange this year. These are first time participants.

Ceramics bowl by Ros Welchman
Ceramics bowl by Ros Welchman. Contributed photo.

Ceramicist Ros Welchman, who has participated in the tour every year since it launched in 2012, will be opening her studio at 266 Halcottsville Rd. in Halcottsville. For forty years Welchman taught mathematics and education at Brooklyn College. Since retiring and moving to the Catskills, she returned to her early love for visual design and ceramics. Her professional interests in mathematics (especially geometry) and in teaching (especially problem-solving) have had a strong impact on her work. Welchman’s ceramics are hand-built with an emphasis on surface texture, often with patterns influenced by her travels.

Painter Lisbeth Firmin will be showing her work in the Commons Building in Margaretville. Multi-media artist Anthony Margiotta will be opening his studio in Halcott Center, and sculptor Ken Hiratsuka will be showing his barn and massive stone carvings at 34325 Rt. 28 between Margaretville and Andes.

In Roxbury painters Ellen Wong and Helene Manzo, photographer Frank Manzo, and ceramicists and printmakers Peter Yamaoka and Gerda Van Leeuwen will all be opening their studios and offering an intimate view of their works. Studio visits trigger questions that aren’t often asked in formal settings such as galleries and museums; this is an exchange that benefits both the viewer and the artist.

Artist Peter Yamaoka in his garden
Artist Peter Yamaoka in his garden. © Simona David

Weaver Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes, whose studio is located at 424 Carr George Rd. in Denver, is passionate about what it takes to make fabric. Tabitha has in her studio a professional loom, and happily demonstrates how to work the weft and create the density that is desired for a new piece. “To me that’s magical,” she says – “how I get a piece of fabric: something out of nothing. Weaving is one of the oldest forms of a blend of art and function,” Tabitha explains. “And it’s gratifying that it isn’t forgotten.”

Other participating artists this year include: Hedi Kyle, Midori Kato, Patrice Lorenz, Amy Masters, Gary Mead, John Sanders, Ted Sheridan, and Alix Travis.

Book structure by Hedi Kyle
Book structure by Hedi Kyle. Contributed photo.

For maps and more information, visit Look for AMR Open Studios on Facebook at

Look for the “OPEN STUDIO” signs and brochures with maps, available for pick up at business sponsors and community supporters in Arkville, Roxbury, and Margaretville.

The AMR Open Studio Tour 2015 is made possible with funds from the O’Connor Foundation and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant Program, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, and is administered in Delaware County by The Roxbury Arts Group.

© 2015 Simona David