East Side art studio to show its stuff

“Dappled Spring” is one of Josephine Geiger’s favorite pieces she’s made. The inspiration for the stained glass came when Geiger was sitting on her back in her yard, staring up at the trees. (submitted photo)

J.A. Geiger studio is the lone East Side art gallery in St. Paul Art Crawl.

This spring’s St. Paul Art Crawl begins next weekend on Friday, April 26, and folks will be exhibiting all across town, including a lone gallery on the East Side.

That would be Josephine Geiger’s 400-square-foot studio, perched up on a hill, in the finished second story of her garage. J.A. Geiger Studios is the name.

Geiger, along with three artist friends, are inviting art enthusiasts to “crawl off the map” over to the East Side.

The phrase has been used over the course of many art crawls -- the studio used to not be listed on the map, since it’s more or less the only one in its vicinity. This year, the group was included in the map. J.A. Geiger studios has been involved in the Art Crawl since 2007.

The four artists displaying at the East Side studio will all be showing new work, ranging from art prints to glasswork to beaded jewelry to pet portraits.

Lots of blue this year

An East Side resident for 18 years, Geiger makes stained glass pieces she refers to as “landscape mosaics.” The colorful, geometric glassworks are “much more contemporary” than your typical stained glass window, Geiger says.

Her new works showing this year are pretty blue. But not in a sad way. They’re centered around water, be it waves, rivers, lakes or waterfalls.

They tend to feel a little tropical, she says. 

One of her old favorites, titled “Dappled Spring” has a tightly composed geometric pattern, comprised of all shades of green glass panels, with a copper overlay. She says it was inspired when she was laying on her back in the backyard, staring up at a tree. It was late spring and the leaves were filling out.

One can’t help but wonder when that type of inspiration will arrive this year. It could be that the art crawlers will be tromping through slush to get to the galleries.

With the success of her work, Geiger has been able to do her art full time for 10 years. She’s been holed-up in her studio doing a mixture of work for commission and for her own purposes.

She says she can feel a little isolated on the East Side - there aren’t many artists nearby to go to lunch with or go get a drink, she says.

But, at the same time, art is a little bit solitary by nature, she says. And it helps that she’s got at least one artsy neighbor, Tracie Thompson. Thompson sometimes works out of Geiger’s studio, providing some well-needed camaraderie.

Animal portraits & bead jewelry, too

Alongside Geiger’s works at the art crawl will be animal portraiture by Tracie Thomspon. Thompson will be doing live 20-30 minute pet portrait sessions during the event.

There will also be work by Brenda Brousseau, who does bead-based jewelry with miniscule beads under the name Luna C. Bede, as well as work by Christy Johnson, who does mixed media and prints.

J.A. Geiger studios is located at 1647 Beech St. The art will be available for public viewing Friday, April 26, from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday, April 27, from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 28 from noon to 5 p.m.

Patrick Larkin can be reached at eastside@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7816.

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