Artists’ Studio Tour offers behind-the-scenes view of studios

By Scout Anatricia
Reader Intern

The artistic events of the summer haven’t come to a standstill quite yet. The creative flow rushes past the Arts and Crafts Fair, through the Festival at Sandpoint and continues onto the Artists’ Studio Tour.

Sandpoint, Hope, Ponderay, Kootenai, Clark Fork, and Sagle will be flourishing the weekends of the 14th-16th and 21st-23rd with artists opening up their studios to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Steve Gerutz at work in his Ponder Point studio.

Steve Gerutz at work in his Ponder Point studio.

Many artists work out of their home,  so over 30 artists will be sharing 20 studios to display their work. The list of artists as well as map of the self-toured guide is available in Artist’s Studio Tour brochures as well as online at

Don Fisher, a local photographer and one of the newcomers this year, calls Sandpoint and its surrounding areas his studo. He is inspired by the light that settles on bays around the lake as well as interesting weather and settings. Accentuating town bridges and marinas by combining natural and artificial light is one of his fortes, and he is motivated by the artistic recognition and support from Sandpoint. Fisher recalls that “the availability of artist recognition in this town is far and above what it is in Minnesota, and that opportunity is motivation for my work.”

Many people appreciate the tour and the opportunity to explore artists at work. One artist in particular  is catching extra attention this year as she is a guest artist from Japan. Eriko Yamada, former artist-in-residence for Planet Labs, will be helping a local author, Tim Martin, illustrate his book. They will be available to spot in-action at the Soul Appeal Studio during the tour.


Painting by Barbara Janusz.

Considering her fondness for local artists and art culture, its no wonder executive director and event coordinator Petja Scheele volunteers her time for the event. She has received a plethora of positive feedback from the community concerning the outcome of the event in past years. In fact, the only negative comments that she received was that there just wasn’t enough time to be able to see all of the studios.

“I love art, just to have the opportunity to go out and see the artists working in their studios is amazing and makes the time I invest worth it to me,” said Scheele.

Another stop of the tour takes you to Steve Gevurtz’s Ponder Point studio, where you can observe how he transforms his clay sculptures into bronze works of art.

“It’s called the Lost Wax Method,” said Gurtz.

Once Gevurtz finishes a clay work, usually a figurative piece, he sends them to an Oregon foundry, where it is made into a latex mold, which is then used to make a wax version of the piece.

“The wax gets dipped into ceramic material, then put into a kiln and fired. From there, the wax burns out of the ceramic shell and it hardens into a piece of pottery. They take it out and pour the melted bronze into that shell. When that cools, they crack the ceramic and the bronze is what remains. It’s fascinating.”

When people visit Gevurtz’s studio gallery, they can see over 20 finished pieces in bronze.

“I can walk through all the pieces and explain what I was thinking about with each one,” he said. “I take people through the entire process from when I first come up with an idea to the end.”

By participating in the tour, you are not only supporting regional artists but also another cause: Habitat for Humanity. For the first time a percent of the proceeds from each artist will be going towards the housing nonprofit, and Scheele plans on bringing in a new cause each year to donate money towards.

This event is free to the public so everyone is encouraged to go out and take a drive and see what the local area artists have to offer.

For more information contact Petja Scheele at (503) 803-5983 or visit

If you happen to get lost on the tour call (208) 265 – 1776.

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