Clark County Open Studios Tour Artists connect

By Ashley Swanson, Columbian features news coordinator



If you go

• What: Clark County Open Studios is a self-guided tour as 50 Clark County artists throw open their studios and spaces to the public.

• When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 10.

Where: Across Clark County; see map for specific studios.

Cost: Free.

Information: has a printable guide and profiles of participating artists.

This weekend offers 50 chances to find a new piece of inspiration as our community of artists open their spaces to the public during the Clark County Open Studios tour.

"Artists love to connect with art lovers," organizer and mixed media artist Jennifer Williams said. "We're not only inviting collectors and clients, but our neighbors, friends, family and other artists."

And connecting the entire community is the main goal of the tour. Organized by the nonprofit group Arts of Clark County, the self-guided tour will open up the art spaces of 50 artists to the public, whose work ranges from watercolors to large sculptures.

The creation of art is usually a solitary activity, so it can be easy to miss how many artists call

Clark County home. It wasn't until Williams joined Arts of Clark County that she discovered that fellow painter Robert Bickel was practically her neighbor. "I had no idea he was there."

Studio tours are not a new concept. Portland Open Studios just completed its 14th event in October. It usually features about 100 artists.

When Williams attended the Gorge Artists Open Studios in April, she was struck by how much of an adventure visiting artists' spaces can be, something Clark County's version hopes to emulate. "I couldn't wait to get to the next studio. Not only was the work unique and differing from each one, the whole package is just an adventure," she said.

"Unlike seeing artwork on the walls of a gallery, (with the tour) you get to experience the life of an artist, experience their process and how they work with their medium."

Many artists will be doing demonstrations and showcasing works made specifically for the tour.

"What's most surprising is the enthusiasm that Clark Count has for the arts," Williams said, though it will be tough to see all the participating artists, even for the most motivated. She suggests that the best way to tackle the studio tour is go after art that moves you.

The organization has already received calls from more artists wanting to participate in the next event, building a strong foundation for Arts of Clark County to turn into an annual adventure.

Clark County Open Studios Map