Hot Shops readies for open house
November 23rd, 2011
Omaha, NE – Just in time for the Christmas shopping season, Hot Shops Art Center will host an open house next weekend.
â€œPeople are welcome to come in and wander wherever they can wanderâ€¦â€ Tim Barry is a managing partner at Hot Shops Art Center in north downtown. He showed me around the large and meandering workshop space. Brightly-colored, glass-blown Christmas ornaments hang from the roof near the entrance. Nearby, a furnace burns ferociously, while discarded metal lies around, waiting to be hammered into shape.
â€œWeâ€™re 92,000 square feet of different ideas and different approaches to â€˜what do I do with this blank canvas? What do I do with this lump of clay? I can turn this piece of wood into somethingâ€¦â€
Next weekend, most of Hot Shopsâ€™ 56 studios will open up, with up to 70 resident artists showing off â€“ and selling – their work. The group includes emerging and a few established artists like bronze sculptor Les Bruning and up-and-coming blacksmith Chris Kemp.
â€œItâ€™s a place where you can come and see where the artâ€™s made, how the artâ€™s made, the tools that we use,â€ Barry said. â€œIf everybodyâ€™s just going to the museums and the high-end galleries, theyâ€™re only seeing the finished work.â€
â€œSo if youâ€™ve never felt the heat from the glass furnace, or watched us throw a piece of pottery, or seen what a bronze looks like when it first comes out, thereâ€™s really no foundation to understand what weâ€™re looking at when weâ€™re standing in a museum.â€
Hot Shops will host its winter open house Saturday, Dec. 3 from 12-8pm, and Sunday, Dec. 3rd from 12-5pm. The event will also feature local musicians, along with a sample performance by Opera Omaha.
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