York’s Third Tuesday Art Group has only two rules:
1. Bring something creative to share for discussion.
And most importantly,
2. What happens at Third Tuesdays stays at Third Tuesdays.
On that day each month, a group of eight women – each professional York County artists – gathers at one of their homes for lunch and art discussion.
“If someone is having a bad day and they want to moan and groan about something that has affected their artwork, we want them to be free to explain that without it leaving the room and going elsewhere,” Third Tuesdays founder Phyllis Disher Fredericks said.
Hence rule No. 2.
But the idea of the group isn’t just to gossip about the latest happenings in one another’s lives. After lunch, the group goes around the room one by one and critiques a piece each artist has been working on.
“We challenge each other to continue working and to notch it up,” Fredericks said. “It’s an honest critique, and we’re also very supportive to one another.”
The Dover oil painter and York Art Association teacher said she started Third Tuesdays in 1996 as a way to challenge herself and her friends.
“I was at a point in my life where I felt … I hadn’t devoted myself completely to my artwork,” she said.
At the time, Fredericks had just left her teaching job at York College and made the decision to go back into the studio full time.
“I wanted to bounce what I was doing off some creative minds. It didn’t take much for (my friends) to agree and say, ‘Yeah, that’s a great idea.’”
Now, almost 20 years later, the Third Tuesday Art Group still meets once a month. But most recently, their meetings have focused on preparing for the group’s first appearance at York’s second Makers Dozen Art Tour in downtown York Nov. 14-15.
Makers Dozen is a free, self-guided walking tour of 12 downtown York locations, where about 18 locals artists will exhibit their work.
Fredericks said she and her fellow group members, who range in age from 60 to 75, have been working on pieces for this exhibit for about a year and have spent the last few months critiquing each other’s works in preparation for the opening.
“It’s very good to get feedback from other artists,” Third Tuesday’s newest member Janie McKnight said. McKnight, of Spring Garden Township, said she only started selling her artwork professionally three years ago.
“Most of the women in the group have much more experience than I do,” she said. “They’ve helped me with technique and composition … Artists are often unsure of their work and it’s been a very supportive experience for me.”
By Nov. 14, each group member will have 10 to 12 finished pieces to exhibit, ranging from paintings and fiber art to quilts and jewelry.
With the help of a $1,904 grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, York potter Kim Heindel-Toner organized this year’s Makers Dozen Art tour to shine a spotlight on downtown York’s professional art community and give locals a chance to meet and interact with the artists.
“People were surprised we were here,” Heindel-Toner said of the reaction to last year’s tour. “They didn’t know there were this many artists in York.”
In addition to the Third Tuesdays group, guests can expect to see works at 11 other locations, including paintings, knitting, crochet, beadwork, pottery and flowers, she said. Prints of a hand-painted map can be picked up at any location on the tour.
After months spent critiquing and adding finishing touches to their works, Fredericks said she’s excited to show the community – and each other – what they’ve accomplished this year.
“We thought it would be a nice thing to have our group as part of this since we’re all York County artists,” she said. “We like to share our work. All artists create work because we have something to say.”
But even if guests aren’t interested in buying art, Heindel-Toner said the tour is a chance to be “fabulously inspired.”
“It’s an opportunity to meet us and talk to us about art and ask questions about the process,” she said. “And anybody learning about art, it would be an invaluable resource.”
Participating artists and locations:
Studio Gallery 234, 300 S. Pershing Ave.
MKS Studio with Judeth Hawkins, 721 S. George St.
Susan McDaniel and Karen Paust
839 McKenzie St.
Carol Oldenburg with Kara Gonzales
1003 S. Pine St.
Terra Opera Pottery, 300 E. Market St.
Butera the Florist, 313 E. Market St.
Art Therapy and Art by Terri Yacovelli, 262 E. Market St.
Prime Art Supply and Studio, 128 E. King St.
Third Tuesday Art Group: Nancy Boileau, Marilyn Daly, Phyllis Disher Fredericks, Janie McKnight, Pat Richards, Polly Stetler and Jamie Winslow
Lafayette Club, 59 E. Market St.
Just Brenda Studio Gallery, 22 N. Beaver St.
If you go
What: Makers Dozen Art Tour
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 14-15
Where: 12 locations throughout downtown York
More information: Visit Makers Dozen Tour 2015 Facebook page.