TOAST. No, it’s not something you eat. In the art world, TOAST means an opportunity for artists and art-lovers to mingle and interact with one another. The acronym stands for Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour. On one weekend every year, artists open their doors to encourage visitors to look at art and to converse with artists about it. That weekend happens to be this weekend, April 27-30. To prepare for the event, we spoke with participating artist Marsha Owett.
Owett is a photographer and painter who has been an artist since childhood. Her paintings are generally abstract expressionist (think Jackson Pollock, but with psychedelic colors). Owett says her technique is quite different from other artists:
I developed my unique technique of layering news print and paint, then excavating through the layers with an electric sander to reveal the finished work. The intention is to create an abstract image with a transformative quality.
And because of this, Owett’s works obtain an interactive quality to them – “Each viewer’s imagin[ation] shapes their experience of this transformation.”
Much of Owett’s work is created in response to what she sees in nature. The untouched-by-human-hands quality of nature is an influential factor for many artists, and Owett has not missed this. From paintings of butterflies and birds to photos of golden water and rippled sand, these works portray nature in its purest, and yet, most abstract form.
This is Owett’s first year participating in TOAST, and she is excited to open her studios to curious visitors. She says,
When visitors come to my studio, they can see my paintings, which are quite different in person, as the texture and depth does not come through well in print or online. I will also have several photographic series’ in my studio, including a new skin series I’m really excited about and my Shimoda work. The Shimoda series was a Critic’s Pick in New York Magazine and generally well reviewed.
TOAST provides the opportunity for visitors to learn about the art world – a world that can often seem daunting and closed off from those who are not familiar with it. At the same time, it allows artists to gain exposure, and perhaps sell a few works in the process. Owett will have her work on sale, ranging in price from $500 to $4000.
To view a map of the participating galleries, or to learn more about the free event, stop by the TOAST website. Close to 100 artists will be participating this year, with self-guided tours open from 1-6pm to the public on both Saturday and Sunday. Over 40 different venues will be open this weekend, where varying mediums and genres will be on display. Let us know what you thought of the tour by commenting in the space below!