Free self-guided art tour featuring 322 artists opening their studios to the public throughout Santa Cruz County
SANTA CRUZ, CA — August 24, 2023 — This October, join us for Arts Council Santa Cruz County’s 37th annual Open Studios Art Tour. It’s free, self-guided, and features 322 artists working in dozens of mediums across the County.
Meet 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 connect with artists, see their creative process up close, and buy art from the source.
“Open Studios connects us to many of Santa Cruz County’s visual artists. It’s an opportunity to visit a studio and learn more about the artist’s creative practice, tour a neighborhood you don’t know yet, or purchase a piece from your favorite local artist,” said Ann Ostermann, Open Studios Director.. “It takes a lot of planning and nerve on the part of participating artists. 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. It’s also a great event for visitors to experience the creative life of our area.”
Open Studios takes place the first three weekends of October, from 11am to 5pm. Studios are divided between North and South County (with the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor as the dividing point) on the following schedule:
Oct. 7-8: South County artists – from the Yacht Harbor south
Oct. 14-15: North County artists – from the Yacht Harbor north
Oct. 21-22: All County – featuring 277 artists across the county
Many ways to plan your tour, and they’re all FREE!
Whether this is your first Open Studios or you’ve attended 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. 12. 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 throughout October.
- Follow Open Studios on Instagram @openstudios.scc to learn more about participating artists and see behind the scenes.
- View participating artists on the Open Studios artist A-Z pages.
- Download the FREE app – available in mid-September on iTunes & Google Play. You can mark your favorite artists in the app, map their location, and then build a tour around that.
- Follow the green signs. During Open Studios, you’ll see lime green signs with artist names and arrows all over the county. Please consider every Open Studios sign your personal invitation. Follow the signs and enter a studio.
- Check out the Preview Exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League, open Sept. 29 through Oct. 22 at the Santa Cruz Art League. Preview Exhibit features artwork from more than 300 Open Studios artists. It’s a great way to discover artists and plan your tour. Pop into the gallery, find artwork that intrigues you, and note which studios you want to visit. Meet the artists at the public reception on Sunday, Sept. 25, from 3–6 pm. Free bike valet parking.
- 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.
- This year, there are more first-time participants than ever, with 65 artists new to the Tour – a record number! A few of these folks are Charles Gonzales, Chelsea Wagner, Sierra Evans, and many more!
- This year will also feature a record number of Tannery artists (13) – Gazelle Parsons, Chris Mosley, Amanda Hess & Bree Karpavage, Margaret Niven, Anna Cummins, and more.
- Not all artists have studios that are their workspaces. We’ve dropped barriers to participate, by opening it up for artists to share their studios or exhibit in alternative spaces. oA few artists will show their work in pop-up spaces, either at galleries like Pajaro Valley Arts (where Josefina Rocha and Hermelinda Vasquez-Matias will be), or be hosted by other Open Studios artists.
- Jenni Ward is this year’s Artist Guide cover artist – she’s also getting ready to install a large-scale public art project on the new Westside Rail Trail.
About Arts Council Santa Cruz County
The Arts Council’s mission is to nurture and invest in artists, culture, and the arts. Together, we’re building a stronger Santa Cruz County, where all artists have access to the resources they need to thrive; where a full range of creative expression is accessible to everyone; and the arts are recognized for their essential contributions to a healthy, vibrant, and representative community.
Through grants to artists and arts organizations, arts education programs that serve more than 20,000 youth across Santa Cruz County, and community initiatives such as Open Studios, the Tannery Arts Center, and the Watsonville Center for the Arts, we help Santa Cruz County thrive. Learn more at artscouncilsc.org.