Summer Arts Visits the Starn Studio

by Dominic Hackley

Last week, Summer Arts went on an exciting field trip to the studio of internationally renowned artists, identical twins Mike and Doug Starn. They work in a wide variety of media, everything from sculpture and painting to photography and video. We were invited for an exclusive tour, which afforded us a more in-depth view of the Starns’ artwork and processes used in their permanent art installation in the South Ferry subway terminal, which we visited the week before. The subway installation is approximately 250 feet in length and ranges from 9-14 feet in height. This installation,See it split, see it change, is the most expensive and one of the largest subway art pieces to date.

At their studio we were shown large-scale photographs and samples of the fused glass panels and stainless steel gate that the Starns used to create the art in the South Ferry subway terminal.We also saw many art pieces that are more typical of the twins’ work – jumbo inkjet prints of decaying leaves, magnified snowflake images and large scale prints of ancient Asian deities.

After walking around the studio, we were directed into the print shop where the studio’s master printer gave us a demonstration of paper preparation and their photo printing process.
At the end of the tour, the kids asked lots of interesting questions. To thank the artists for their time and generosity, the kids gave them two large scale drawings and a sketchbook that they created, inspired by the Starns’ artwork.