Open Studios Tour & First Friday Reception

Fifty artists across Clark County are busily getting ready for the fourth annual Open Studios Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 12 & 13—a free, self-guided tour where local artists open up their studios and allow you to see where and how they make their art. You’ll find artists working in studios that range from repurposed barns and cottages to custom-designed urban spaces. You’ll meet the artists, learn about their inspiration and their process, and be able to buy paintings, jewelry, sculpture, glass work, metalwork, garden art, recycled art, fiber art, ceramics, photography and more directly from the people who made it.

If you go to the Open Studios Tour website you can get a driving map of the studios and plan your weekend. This is a free, juried, self-guided tour of some of Southwest Washington’s finest artists, and you won’t need to bother with any stuffy galleries: you’ll be right in the thick of it, watching the artists a work and talking to them about their inspiration and their creative process. It’s not necessary to purchase any art, but it will be hard not to after seeing what goes into making it and learning each artist’s story.

But first, you’ll want to attend the First Friday Preview & Reception, where you can see works by every artist all in one place. If you’ve attended in past years, there’s lots of new art to see and new artists to meet; roughly half of this years artists are new to the tour. The reception is happening from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Esther Short Building at 610 Esther St. in downtown Vancouver. Artist Chris Bidleman’s Upfront Band will provide music and Trusty Brewing will be pouring tastes of their award-winning brews. A portion from art sales during the preview show will go to Arts of Clark County.

You can learn more about all the artists at www.ccopenstudios.org. Be prepared: both the First Friday reception and the tour itself is a well-attended event. Art lovers come from Portland, Salem, Longview, Tacoma, Seattle, and the coast specifically to meet our Clark County artists. This annual tour is jointly sponsored by Arts of Clark County and the Clark County Arts Commission.

Above image: Claire Bandfield of A Pot Spot gets her hand-cast pots ready for sale at her home studio in Camas.

 

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