A West End studio may only be open to the public twice a year, but the creative minds inside it aim to make those visits worthwhile.
Clifton Studios (587 Clifton St.) will be holding its annual spring show and sale on May 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the show and sale, those in attendance will have the chance to browse and buy the pieces of art in all sorts of media and mingle with the 25 artists who work out of the studio.
Gloria De Neve, one of the artists, said the annual spring and winter sales are the only times Clifton Studios is open to the public. Any other visit would have to be by invitation or by appointment. That’s because during the months between the winter and spring sales, the artists are hard at work.
"When you work on your art you zone into it," De Neve, a River Heights resident, said.
De Neve will be displaying and selling her work — predominantly pieces made of clay — at the sale.
"Clay was my first love. Clay is my passion," De Neve said. "It speaks to me. I pick it up, and the clay tells me what it wants to do and I let it happen."
De Neve’s wall of work in her studio is mainly of women’s torsos. Among her creations is a green-coloured torso adorned with little leaf imprints and punctured with several holes.
"This one is a clay-sculptured, hand-built torso," De Neve said of the piece. "My expression of this series is that it is a spirit shield that incorporates the physical body with the soul and spirit. It’s the melding of the body and soul together. I allowed the markings to grow into open holes that represent the etchings or the learnings of that lifetime, scars that teach us about life."
The spirit shield, the fusion of the body and soul, is a common theme in De Neve’s work, and the concept stemmed from her own life experiences.
"I found that we are here in this lifetime in our physical sense, in our physical body, but there’s so many parts of us that are unseen," De Neve said.
De Neve went on to say the physical body is more vulnerable because it succumbs to illness and death, whereas the human spirit reigns in terms of strength and longevity.
"So what I tried to do is incorporate the expression of that human spirit and the body melting together," De Neve said. "One and one is more than two. The spirit and the body become such a powerful force that the soul can live on to the next lifetimes."
De Neve said she believes the soul, and the lessons learned and scars endured from previous lives, carry on to future lives.
"Not remembering your lifetimes, but having the wisdom and knowledge inside you into the next lifetimes," De Neve said. "Scarring is an opportunity to grow."
There is free parking on the street near the studio. No entrance fee is required, and there will be free refreshments. There will also be a silent auction for two original works of art. For more information, call 204-774-4869.