SHERIDAN — Sheridan boasts a rich art culture, and art entities are bringing in opportunities to engage consumers beyond a simple visit or purchase.
SAGE Community Arts, The Brinton Museum, the WYO Performing Arts and Education Center, and more offer interactive events, such as gallery openings, lectures and workshops with artists residing in or visiting Sheridan.
Expressions Art Gallery and Framing started bringing in artists each Thursday to do what they do best — create. Instead of staying in their own studios, Expressions owner Wanda Kerns brought the studio in-house, so visiting customers could watch, learn and ask questions of different artists each week. Her goal was to connect collectors with the people behind the art, giving them a stronger connection to the pieces that hang on their walls at home.
“Art means more to people when they get to meet the artists and find out why they do it and the story behind the piece,” Kerns said.
Expressions includes a framing business, which remains busy during the late fall and winter months. Because of this, the interactions with artists will cease starting in October until next January.
All of September is booked up with artists ready to create in front of any guest wishing to gain insight on their process.
Gallery assistant Wendy Gale said the goal of the event was to have visitors immerse themselves in each of the five senses — sight, taste, smell, touch and sound.
“Visitors get to meet, see and talk to the artists,” Gale said.
Each week, artists work under a certain theme. During the Aug. 30 Interacting with Art session, Edre Maier worked under the Yellowstone theme presented to her, while fellow artist Paulette Kucera painted from a photo of the iconic Sheridan Iron Works sign. Each artist welcomed outside visitors to sit, watch and ask questions throughout the morning.
Gale said the idea has been well received throughout the summer, but the series hasn’t been hugely attended. Maier, who participated in the program a few times, said at least two or three people stopped to observe or ask questions each time she painted at Expressions.
Artists present unique personalities and takes, and Gale said visitors experience the differences by watching the process. Likewise, Maier said she appreciates the interactions while she works.
“You get tired of painting by yourself,” Maier said. “It’s fun to watch other artists. Sometimes I come in to see (fellow artists) and see what they’re working on.”
Kucera agreed, appreciating the large art culture Sheridan fosters.
While framing pieces of art, Kerns even noticed and appreciated feedback about meeting the artists and how the customers shared their excitement about knowing the person behind the piece they were framing.
Whether interacting with art on Thursdays at Expressions, visiting a gallery opening at another location or attending a class with a guest presenter, Sheridan art connoisseurs work to provide a fully-immersive experience for Sheridanites.