Creativity on display Sunday

A rare opportunity is coming this weekend for the public to see local artists at work as the Riverside Artists Gallery sponsors its second annual Artist Studio Tour at studios in the Marietta and Parkersburg areas.

“We held our first tour last year and it was fairly successful, so we’ve had a lot of requests to do it again this year and are hoping for an increased turnout,” said Betsy Cook, an ornamental ironworker and member of the Riverside Artists Gallery.

The self-guided tour includes five studio locations where a total of nine area artists will be demonstrating their work, including painting, drawing, sculpture, ironworking, bead-making, and other crafts.

Cook will be demonstrating some of her ornamental metal work for the first time on the tour this year using the coal-fired forge at her home studio in the Lowell area.

“I started doing the ironwork about 25 years ago, but now that I’m retired I can devote more time to it,” she said. “And artist Bonnie Proudfoot will be demonstrating her glass bead-making at my studio, which is also something new on the tour this year.”

The tour is a fundraiser for the Riverside Artists Gallery which conducts art camps and classes throughout the year for children and other budding artists.

Cook said most of the five studio locations on Sunday’s tour will feature more than one artist, including Virginia Killian and Karol Goldstein at Killian’s studio on Packard Street in Parkersburg.

“I’ll have some samples of my work there and will be working on a painting,” said Goldstein, a watercolor artist.

“I’ve always loved to paint older architecture from this area,” she said, noting works that include the Anchorage in Marietta’s Harmar district, St. Mary Catholic Church, Henderson Hall in Boaz, W.Va., Marietta’s Unitarian Universalist Church, and many others.

Goldstein said she has also taught watercolor painting during some of the Riverside Artists Gallery classes.

Another watercolorist on Sunday’s tour will be Lynda Rhodes whose studio is located in a carriage house at her home along the Little Kanawha River near the West Virginia University at Parkersburg campus.

“At my place people on the tour will also be able to view our flower gardens and the potting shed that was my original studio,” she said. “It’s actually an old fishing cabin that was built here before our home was constructed.”

Rhodes said she paints every day and has been doing so for about 40 years. Her work can be seen at Tamarack, the Greenbrier Resort and Parkersburg’s Blennerhassett Hotel in West Virginia, as well as at the Riverside Artists Gallery in Marietta where she also teaches painting.

“I started working with oil painting, but then 10 or 12 years ago I discovered watercolor. I had no idea this would become my passion,” she said. “It’s completely different from oil, and it took some time for me to adjust, but I love it.”

Rhodes took part in last year’s Artist Studio Tour and hopes many more people will visit her studio during this year’s event.

Cook said area artists George Longfellow, Kate Mulligan and Akemi Matsumoto will be demonstrating their crafts at the Riverside Artists Gallery on Second Street in Marietta Sunday while Resolve Studios on Franklin Street in the Harmar area will feature artists working in sculpture and drawing.

The tour runs from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, and tickets can be purchased for $8 in advance at the Riverside Artists Gallery and the Parkersburg Art Center. Tickets may also be purchased Sunday for $10 at each of the studios on the tour.

Tickets will include a map with directions to all of the artist studio locations.