The Washougal Studio Artist Tour in May lured droves of art enthusiasts, eager for in-person studio visits where they could meet artists and see work in progress. The tour proved to be an ideal way to find one-of-a-kind gifts.
Event organizers took note and decided to offer the first Washougal Studio Artists Tour Holiday Art Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14.
“Customers at our Mother’s Day tour asked if we held anything like this near the holidays,” said Shirley Bishop, fused glass artist and event organizer. “They were impressed with the quality and uniqueness of the art.”
The tour, scaled down from the spring event, features 10 artists at five locations, so tour-takers may meet two or more artists at a single stop. All the artists in the holiday tour are professional artists who exhibit in galleries or sell directly to collectors.
“These artists are not ‘crafters,’ ” Bishop said. “They are truly artists making a living selling their art.”
Some customers prefer to see and purchase art in a studio space precisely because it’s more relaxed than a hushed, contemplative gallery. The studios are colorful, often quirky places full of paint, clay, beads, wood, metal, fiber and tools with in-progress works strewn about on worktables and easels.
“The tour provides an opportunity to invite customers into artists’ studios to better understand the process they go through to create these works of art,” Bishop said. “People love to buy directly from the artist, see their workspace and learn more about them.”
Artworks available on the holiday tour include acrylic, watercolor and pastel paintings, fused and enameled glass, jewelry with handcrafted beads, metal designs and eco-friendly rugs. For a map with studio locations and to see samples of the artists’ works, visit www.washougalstudioartists.org. Guests must wear masks when visiting studios.