Free self-guided art tour First Three Weekends In October
This October, join us for the 32nd annual Open Studios, a free self-guided tour that invites the public into 310 artist studios working in dozens of mediums across Santa Cruz County.
There are seasoned artists who’ve participated since 1986, talented newcomers, and makers and creators of all kinds. Neighbors, friends, collectors and art lovers are invited to meet the artists, see their creative process up close, and buy art directly from the source.
“Santa Cruz County is a magnet for creative people, and Open Studios is a moment when that creativity becomes visible, when artists in every neighborhood throughout the County open their doors to art-lovers, neighbors and friends,” said Ann Ostermann, Open Studios Director for Arts Council Santa Cruz County. “It takes a lot of planning and nerve on the part of our participating artists and it’s a joy to see it pay off with art sales and new relationships formed, old friends reunited, and neighbors getting to know each other.”
A program of Arts Council Santa Cruz County, Open Studios takes place the first three weekends of October, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Studios are divided between North and South County (with the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor as the dividing point) on the following schedule:
- Oct. 6-7: South County artists
- Oct. 13-14: North County artists
- Oct. 21-22: All County weekend featuring select artists.
Many ways to plan your tour and they’re all FREE!
Whether this is your first Open Studios or you’ve been attending for years, here are a few easy strategies for finding your way:
Pick up a FREE Artist Guide at Good Times drop off points throughout the County after Sept. 17. Find artists in your neighborhood, by medium, or simply browse through the guide and find artwork that captures your eye. If you can’t find a guide out in the wild, stop by the Arts Council offices at 1070 River Street in Santa Cruz during open hours — we’ll have a stack here through Oct. 22.
Download the FREE app — available Oct. 1 on iTunes & Google Play (search for “Open Studios Art Tour”). You can mark favorite artists in the app, map their location, and then build a tour around that.
Follow the green signs. During Open Studios weekends you’ll see lime green signs with artist names and arrows all over the county.
Please consider every Open Studios sign as your own personal invitation. Follow the signs and enter a studio.
Check out the Preview Exhibit at Santa Cruz Art League, featuring artwork from nearly all of the participating artists. Open Sept. 29 through Oct. 21 it’s a great way to discover artists and plan your tour from there. Pop into the gallery, find artwork that intrigues you, and make a note of which studios you want to visit from there. Meet the artists at the public reception Sunday, Sept. 30 from 3–6 p.m.
If you’re interested in rural studios, visit the Satellite Preview Exhibit at the R. Blitzer Gallery, 2801 Mission Street in Santa Cruz. This exhibit features work by artists in remote areas throughout the county, including Bonny Doon, Corralitos, Felton and more. The Satellite Exhibit opens on Oct. 5 as part of the First Friday Art Tour and will be open to the public through Oct. 22.
Visit one or 100! No one is keeping score. Spend a day or just a few minutes. Open Studios is a self-guided, free tour. Cater it to your style and mood. Find photos and more at bit.ly/openstudios-2018pr
The Arts Council generates creativity, vibrancy, and connection in Santa Cruz County. Through grants to artists and arts organizations, arts education programs that serve more than 17,000 kids across Santa Cruz County, and community initiatives such as Open Studios and Ebb & Flow, we help Santa Cruz County thrive.