Art can be a mysterious process to the nonartist.

How does a sculptor mold their material? Or a painter layer their colors? How does a blowtorch figure into the creative process? And why does art cost what it does?

The 10th annual Front Range Open Studios can answer all those questions, and more. The free, self-guided tour of a dozen professional artist studios in the Tri-Lakes area is set for Saturday and Sunday.

A map of locations is available at frontrangeopenstudios.com.

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“On most studio tours I’ve gone to, artists were showing finished work,” said tour founder and glass artist Nancy Bonig. “The public didn’t get any more than if they went to an art show or gallery. They didn’t see the process. They don’t know the materials, the training, the space, the mistakes and education. I hand-picked all the artists, which shows their studios and process to take away the mystery.”

At each stop, visitors can see an artist in their natural habitat, doing what they do best — making their art, whatever that might be. Featured artistic mediums will include painting in oils and acrylics, metalsmithing, sculptures, photography, ceramics, batik, handmade paper sculpture and fiber arts.

Richard Pankratz will demonstrate creating a bronze figure and the way he mixes ceramics, glass and bronze to make furniture and vessels. Blacksmith Jodie Bliss will guide people through her studio, while Bonig will go through her process of creating kiln-worked glass.

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At more than half the stops, visitors can try their hand at making their art, including alcohol ink magnets at Claudia Dimidik’s studio, paper from abaca fiber with Mattie O and glass making with Bonig. Minimal charges might apply at each studio.

Bonig, who started in fiber art, turned to making glass art two decades ago, and was mentored by Pankratz. She loves to invite the public into her studio during the annual event to learn what they’re looking for artwise. The tour also helps spread the word about the creative minds living in the Tri-Lakes area.

“In Monument we’re considered the stepchildren of the art world in Colorado Springs,” Bonig said. “The Springs gets a lot of attention, but we have a lot of talented artists who are represented in galleries all over the country, and we want to let people know we’re up here.”

Contact the writer: 636-0270

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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