By Paulina Herran
Open Studio Night, an event that allows the whole University of Dallas community to view the studios of senior art majors and graduate students, will take place on Nov. 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “[It is] an opportunity to see a side of the artist that is beyond the gallery setting, to be able to witness the behind-the-scenes, which a lot of times can reinforce your viewing of their work,” senior art major Johnny Defilippis said.
I visited Defilippis and Kathleen Ramirez in their respective studio areas to get a taste of what Open Studio Night will be like. Defilippis’ studio was filled with different examples of his current work in varying states of completeness. A large mirror, which he uses as a tool in his study of the face, dominated much of the space. A tour of the printmaking studio, Ramirez’s usual haunt, gave insight into the depth of skill that printmaking requires. It was much larger than Defilippis’ studio and filled with large printing presses and various printmaking supplies. Ramirez showed me one room in the studio filled with stone, and described the careful and exact process that it takes to complete a stone lithograph. Each studio gave me a glimpse of the artist’s unique style and the differences between painting and printmaking.
“It gives everybody from the students to the faculty, anyone who hasn’t been down here — who know (sic) little to nothing about what’s actually going on in the art studio — it gives everybody a chance to actually see the space, see us in action and see what we’re actually doing,” Ramirez said.
Open Studio Night essentially allows everyone on campus to walk into the private areas of creativity in which our UD artists tackle the task of communicating their inspirations through their artwork.
“There’s always the scare that if you show too much information, it will make them see less and just focus on mistakes or your own certain outlook,” Defilippis said. “But I am of the opinion that the more you know of healthy information, such as getting to know someone, the more you can get out of it. So the open studios does (sic) that, also, it creates an awesome opportunity to do what you’re supposed to do, which is put your work out into the community, so it creates a small world between the viewer and the artist — getting to know them. It gets you excited about seeing if you’re doing something right. Also, it allows you to see how people react from the beginning of your process to the end of your process.”
Viewing the process from its beginning to its end is similar to the way that the Senior Synopsis, a gallery event in October, served as a beginning point for the Senior Exhibition that will be occurring next semester. Open Studio Night is something of a halfway point between Senior Synopsis and Senior Exhibition. “Right now the seniors are working a lot with ‘just produce work, just play, explore,’ like don’t feel restricted to have a specific plan in mind. Just go, just do, make work. I’m excited for people to just see us play, see what we’re up to,” Ramirez said.