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Studio tour attracts artists, sponsors and enthusiasts
Photo courtesy of Leo Malboeuf - As evidenced by his piece titled, "Mugshots," Leo Malboeuf enjoys capturing a moment in freeze frame, particularly that of his grandchildren. Malboeuf's studio is one of the stops along this year's McKinney Art Studio Tour.
This month's second Saturday will bring people off of the square and into the studios of 22 local artists.
At the fourth annual McKinney Artist Studio Tour (MAST), ticket holders can get a backstage pass into the world of the city's most talented creators. The tour will take place 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Tourists can also visit Spa Esoteric and Snug on the Square to check pieces on display from participating artists. High school docents studying art have also been welcomed to participate in the tour as guides and helpers.
MAST has been adding artists, sponsors and ticketholders each year, said Leo Malboeuf, whose studio on Saint Germain Drive has been a MAST stop since its inception.
With various art clubs and the push for more public art and classes in virtually every medium available, McKinney has embraced the local arts scene and has helped foster its growth, he said.
"This is sort of an effort for McKinney to find something that has made its downtown unique," Malboeuf said. "When [artists] see things going on, it encourages them to move forward and try to get their art shown. It can be very difficult, especially when you're just beginning."
Representing a collaboration to provide a unified voice among local artists, the event is just as enjoyable for the artists as it is for their visitors, he said.
"They get a chance to visit where [we] work and see some of the process. Some people are much more interested in the process than the work," said Malboeuf, who is a master in oil painting and digital art. "It's also a chance for the artist to give a more full explanation of what they do and how they do it, because everybody works differently."
Tourists will also get to test their creative genius with hands-on projects, and will have an opportunity to take home original masterpieces donated by participating artists through a silent raffle. Even the tickets are considered keepsakes, as printmaker Lynne Hubner handmade each individual ticket with a design created especially for the event.
Hubner has been teaching children and adults from the second floor of the Art House off North Kentucky Street for roughly six years. As one of the MAST originals, the New York native said the grassroots movement has given the community a greater awareness toward the value of having active two-and three-dimensional artists right in their backyard, and whose work have reached international levels.
"I think people are rather surprised when they hear such a thing," Hubner said. "MAST is wonderful because the public actually gets to walk in and be flies on the wall to see how the magic is created."
With three local galleries supporting them, MAST has become a tradition in the art community, Hubner said. It also allows artists to step out from behind their canvas or clay, she said.
"For many artists, creating is a very solitary experience," Hubner said. "However, as with many artists in general, [MAST] has also shown me we really do have such a wide and varied collection of art here in McKinney, and it just keeps growing year in and year out. It's just phenomenal."
Eight area businesses have signed up to sponsor the event this year including Trinity Ceramic Supply, Inc., McKinney Wine Merchant, Rick's Chophouse, Sauce on the Square, Orison's Fine Art & Framing and Spoon's Café. Tickets are $7 and are available at Digging It, Garrett Art Gallery and Orison's Art and Framing in downtown McKinney. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the tour at the studios. For information, visit mckinneyartstudiotour.com.
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