The Clay Lady’s Campus | October 8
The relationship between artist and patron has always been vital. One event aims to make it much more intimate. ARTable is the chance for art enthusiasts to experience the creative process first hand. Attendees get an evening to access artists as they work, transforming raw materials into reflections of their vision, narrating their methods, and answering questions all the while.
This year, the event’s fifth, will feature four local artists: Susan Thornton, who works with metal jewelry, Jane McGinnis-Glynn, who works with woven stoneware clay, Leigh Ann Agee, a muralist, and Dave Garrett, who creates flutes. The guests, divided into small groups, visit with each artist for twenty minutes before rotating to the next. The artists describe their inspiration and technique to each group as the piece they’re working on comes to life.
“Each one of the four artists has an extremely different process,” says Matt Fischer, ARTable’s founder and owner of Hermitage’s Picture This Creative Framing & Gallery. “We generally try to pick artists that have a very interesting and creative process. It should be something that the consumer can become engaged in while it’s happening.”
Those pieces will be auctioned off at the end of the evening, and other works by each artist will also be for sale, with the proceeds split between the artists and Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, a community-leader mentoring program. Fischer estimates that it has raised around $35,000 for the charity since its inception.
The inspiration for ARTable came from a transformative experience for Fischer. While looking for work to fill his gallery when it first opened, he traveled to the studio of a favorite artist and was invited to have some lunch and watch as the artist worked.
“That trip turned out to be one of the more significant things that happened to me in my life,” he says. “Because of the music, the food, the atmosphere, the conversation, the wine, all of that allowed me to buy into the process and the artist emotionally, and as a result, there was no way I was going to leave without buying that painting he was working on.”
He’s applied that lesson to the benefit of participating artists, Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, and attendees, who enjoy fine food and wine during the evening. This year’s fare will come courtesy of Gondola House Pizzeria, Fast Track Catering, and Ellendale’s.