Gerry Clifford exhibiting at Open Studios

Needham Open Studios is celebrating 21 years as a supportive, inclusive and vibrant, community.

Neighbors and art enthusiasts are invited to take a self-guided tour from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the weekend of Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, and visit 35 new and returning award-winning artists while they demonstrate their skills in their studios and shared spaces all over Needham.

Among the artists will be Gerry Clifford, whose sculptural and utilitarian pieces, made primarily from New England hardwoods, will be on display at location 5 (117 Pickering Street). "I had an interesting first encounter with woodworking back in the mid-seventies," explains Clifford. "At that time in my life, I was living the life of a Benedictine monk. One day I was assigned to work on a monastic dairy barn with an older monk who had a background in carpentry. Well, after a few days of putting up red cedar shingles and falling in love with an old Record hand plane, I knew I had found a new and lifelong passion.

"It is a wonderful moment in time to be a part of an Open Studio experience. As we seem to be immersed quite deeply in technology, it’s wonderful, and healthy, to offer a glimpse into slow, process oriented work that often results in beautifully created works," he adds, noting that he plans on running demonstrations off and on during each of Open Studios' two days. "I hope to be up to my elbows in shavings each day!"

For a list of participating Open Studios artists, maps and demonstration schedules, visit www.needhamopenstudios.com.

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