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Weir Artist 'Draws' With Straws

Artist Annie Varnot moved to New York without much money for supplies. So, as she told people at the Wilton Library Tuesday night, she began gluing drinking straws together.

"It's a completely absurd invention," the most recent artist in residence at the Weir Farm Art Studio said.

Using hot-melt glue and combining different colored straws, Varnot creates three-dimensional scenes. With the addition of light running through the straws, Varnot's work gives off a glow that makes it very appealing to the eye. Though she is a tactile artist, Varnot trained as a painter and credits the look of her work to her knowledge of color.

Though this style may be unique, it might have been expected from Varnot. She said that her sculpting professors wanted all of the students to work a certain way, which did not fly with Varnot.

"I had to come up with my own way," Varnot said.

There is a downside to using straws and hot-melt glue: It is not permanent. To preserve her work, Varnot has been thinking about having it reproduced in glass. She was unsure if she wanted to learn how to do the glasswork herself or hire someone to do it. Either way, she says, "I am really excited about that idea."

The next stop for Varnot is the Governor's Island Art Fair, where she will be displaying the work she completed at Weir. Diana Greene will be the artist-in-residence at Weir in September.

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