From painting to metal-working, from glass-blowing to jewelry-making, the Oak Cliff Artisans have it all. Since 2000, this small but dedicated group of local artists has banded together to share resources and help develop the growing artist community in the Cliff.
Oak Cliff Artisan President Larry Pile says the group grew up from the many dedicated artists in the area. “[We] started with a small group of Oak Cliff artist-friends who wanted to get together and showcase their work here in Oak Cliff,” he explains. “It began with a show at the home of clay artist Susie Moody [in 2001] and has grown to a group of 30-plus artists who show twice annually in Oak Cliff.”
Most popular for their Winter Show, held in November, the Oak Cliff Artisans display a wide variety of their members’ art just in time for holiday shopping. This year, the Artisans additionally hosted their first Art Tour, in which several of the artists hosted shows in their own homes, allowing patrons to view some of the artistic process.
Artisan member Carla-Marie Weir says the Art Tour was one of the highlights of her time with the group. “For me, one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had as an artisan has been to open my home studio to the public and showcase not only my work but my sources of inspiration and the techniques I use to bring my work to life,” she explains. “As a lampworker, I use a torch with a 1700 C flame to melt, mold and create glass beads that are tiny works of art. . . By participating in our first annual Art Tour I was able to demonstrate my art to the buying public and show the work and care that goes into crafting a piece of jewelry.”
The Oak Cliff Artisans represent every range of artistic medium, choosing artists by juried process. Potential members submit images of their handmade work, which is then judged by several Artisan members. Once accepted, artists not only benefit from the various showing opportunities, but they also give back by contributing to group-sponsored events.
“Oak Cliff is a haven for artists!” Pile says. “Our funky and once-affordable neighborhood has inspired a generation of up-and-coming as well as established independent artists. Having artists in our midst benefits the community as a whole because artists bring a creative aesthetic to the community.”
The Oak Cliff Artisan Winter Show will be held at Kiest Park Recreation Center on the weekend before Thanksgiving, Nov. 18-19. For more information, visit www.oakcliffartisans.com.