Step into the world of imagination at the Stanislaus Artist Open Studio Tour.
Artists from across the county and beyond will open their doors this weekend to share their work and their process for the fourth annual community event. The tour is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Tourism Roundtable and was created to let the public into the artistic process and showcase area talent.
“It’s a great way to see the spectrum and breadth of different artists here,” said Open Studio Tour Steering Committee member and artist Jim Christiansen. “In a gallery, you may see five, maybe 10 pieces by an artist. Here, I have hundreds of mine. You can see an artists’ entire portfolio.”
This year, the tour will run Saturday and Sunday in private studios and art galleries from Modesto to Oakdale, Turlock, Manteca and several stops in between. The event will feature 64 local artists in 42 studio and gallery locations. To take part, attendees must purchase a $10 tour map, which allows them access to any of the studios and galleries both days.
Most of the artists will invite the public into their homes and professional studios, and many will conduct live art demonstrations. There will be a variety of media, and art for sale at each stop.
There are a little more than a half-dozen more artists than last year, and also several artists new to the tour. Christiansen estimates about 25 percent of those showing this year are first-timers to the event.
Studio tour veterans like Linda Knoll, who paints and does children’s book illustrations, said bringing new artists and younger audiences into the tour helps keep the area’s arts community invigorated.
“I’ve seen the (audience and artists) change quite a bit since we started,” said Knoll. “From the first year, it was old-guard artists. But we’ve got quite a few newer, younger artists this year. We are hoping to continue to get new artists and young artists to make it a more interesting crowd. We’d like it see it shifting toward the younger generation.”
Knoll will show in her Modesto home studio, along with fellow area artists Kate Pethoud and Christine Obers.
Turlock artist Don Hall will be the southernmost stop on the tour this year. The painter and sculptor will show some of his work, including his ceramics, in his converted garage studio. He said the area’s arts consumers run the gamut from the very knowledgeable to novices. But he hopes everyone learns something from being welcomed into the artists’ studios.
“This is an educational tour. It shows the public what kind of artists are around and what different kinds of art people are engaged in,” he said. “Some people come to shop. And some people come out for a weekend adventure. And some bring their children. Everyone is welcome – we want them to come and have an open mind.”
Maps are available at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, Mistlin Gallery and Chartreuse Muse Gallery in Modesto, Oakdale Museum and History Center, Oakdale Chamber of Commerce and Modesto Convention and Visitors Bureau. Attendees also are eligible to win five original works of art from the Purchase Award competition in a random drawing.