AT HOME AT TASI

Tenants Show traditional curtain raiser for 2018-19 season

Walking into an artist’s personal space is like walking into a corner of their mind. Sometimes everything is neat and in its place, and sometimes there are things strewn about everywhere. The Art Studio gives viewers an opportunity to see the works — and the minds — of its 28 resident artists in the annual Tenants Show, beginning Sept. 1.

The show opens with a free reception from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sept. 1, at the gallery at 720 Franklin in downtown Beaumont. The show will be on display until Sept. 26.

The artists represent their diverse community, and each one contributes to the vibrant art scene of Southeast Texas. They encompass all ages, media, experience levels, styles and emotions. This is the exhibition of the artist-next-door — and The Art Studio is vehicle in which they are presented.

“The tenants are all so different from each other, it blows my mind,” tenant Madison Stuckey said. “If you walk upstairs and look at the different tenants’ spaces, you see a variety of works. You’ve got the people who are more intricate in their work, people who are all over the place, and then the people who just listen to music and throw paint on a canvas — it’s crazy.”

Exhibiting artists include Maurice Abelman, Barbara Allamon, Greg Busceme, Andy Coughlan, Stephen Derrick, Beau Dumesnil, Karen Dumesnil, Elizabeth Fontenot, Gina Garcia, Monica Garcia, Suzanne Garrett, Jodi Hebert, Nathan Jones, Bill Kajowski, Sandra Laurette, Eric McClain, Renee McClain, Rhonda McNally, Alex Murphy, Yolanda Perez, Chris Presley, Stephen Rousett, Julie Rutledge, Madison Stuckey, Kailee Viator, Joe Winston, Rachel Wright and Sue Wright.

“I’m doing a series of bondage-esque girls — I like to mix creepy and cute,” Rachel Wright said.”

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Tenant Rachel Wright works in her studio space in advance of the annual Tenants Show. ISSUE photo by Olivia Malick.

Wright, who works mostly in oil, watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil and polymer clay, said that she is really inspired by Japanese culture, and that she tries to add a twist to all of the characters in her work.

“I like when people identify emotionally with my characters,” she said. “I feel like all of the pieces tell a story. They look vulnerable — they may not actually be vulnerable, but I’ve captured them in a moment when their guard is down.”

Stuckey said that art is different for everybody, so anyone who comes to the show will find something to relate to.

“There are some pieces that I see nothing in,” she said. “I respect all art, but there’s some pieces where I don’t understand the process and sometimes I don’t see what other people see in them. All I want people to see in my art is that I tried, and that there’s a piece of me in all of my art.”

The artists represent the eclectic nature of humans. Their mediums range from pencil to mixed media pieces and each piece represents a different mindset and a different vision.

“My art is inspired by my memories, thoughts and dreams,” tenant Stephen Rousset said. “I want people to reflect on their own emotions and perceptions, as well as mine, when they see my pieces.”

The Art Studio has represented the art of Southeast Texas for 36 years, and with every Tenant Show viewers are able to see why it has remained a vital part of the area’s culture.

Stuckey said she was encouraged to visit the Studio by founder Greg Busceme’s daughter Olivia.

“So, one day I decided to go up and see it for myself,” she said. “When I walked in it was like wonderland — there was art everywhere. Greg showed me around and I’ve been in love ever since.”

Many of the tenants will be available for tours of their spaces.

Artists come and go, so the art of the Tenants Show changes every year. People who have been before are guaranteed to see something new, and first-timers will be able to take a glimpse into the minds and motivations of the area artists.

For more information, visit http://www.artstudio.org or call 409-838-5393.

Olivia Malick, ISSUE contributor

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Madison Stuckey is one of the artists exhibiting in the Tenants Show. ISSUE photo by Olivia Malick

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