During Open Studios Tour, artists within the Altadena area and part of Pasadena open up their work place for the public to see them at work and view their art, which are also available for purchase. The Tour is self-guided and visitors can just pick up a guide at the Altadena Library and select which sites to visit and what art types interest them the most.
The application deadline for artists to register for the juried event is on Sunday, March All visual artists 18 and over can apply to participate. Artists may host the event in their own home or studio if within the location boundaries, which is all of Altadena, and the areas of Pasadena between the 210 Freeway on the West and South, and Altadena Drive on the East.
Artists don’t even have to reside in the location boundaries to be eligible to join the event. During past Open Studio Tour events, many hosts have invited artists from other places to share their home, studio, or space.
Artists may also choose to show in another location on the tour with mutual consent. Open Studios will help place you if needed.
During the Tour, artists conduct their own sales and there are no commission fees. They can also choose how to best showcase their art. In past Tours, some studios had live music, demonstrations, and other fun events.
The Open Studios Tour started in 2004 when Mary Gothard, an Altadena-based textile artist and photographer, and her husband Patrick, a prolific painter, opened up their home studio to the public as a way to promote their art. Pleased with the result, they continued to open up their studio twice a year and invited other artists to show.
Gothard says the current version of Open Studios, launched in December 2013, was born in discussions with co-founder Ginkgo Lee, a local ceramicist and graphic designer. They wanted to make the event bigger, to attract more people and more participating artists.
“When we first started it, it was to introduce artists to the community where we all work and play,” Gothard said. “That way neighbors can know neighbors, friends can know friends, and artists can get together with like-minded folks.”
“The whole project came out at the inspiration of Patrick’s studio, to make it a party,” Ginko Lee said. “You have food, conversation, something delicious on the stovetop. The visitor doesn’t feel like they’re in a strict environment – it’s not about ‘hush, hush,’ they’re not afraid to ask questions.”
In December 2016, 23 locations hosted a total of 53 artists during the Open Studios Tour, which was voted Altadena’s 2016 Business of the Year by the Altadena Chamber of Commerce.
Open Studio’s mission is to create a good experience for the artist as well as the public: the artist’s fee is $100 per show, but can be reduced to $50 if they volunteer during the show.
“We don’t turn artists away if they can’t pay,” Gothard said. “We work it out, we get sponsorships, and people are more and more interested in advertising in the brochure.”
Open Studios hosted booths at the Altadena Guild’s 2016 Home Tour and the National Night Out, and are looking to participate in more community events. It has applied for a 501(c)3 designation, and once that comes through, they will start community-oriented arts programs, Gothard said.
This year, the summer Open Studios Tour is on June 3 and 4. All types of visual art, from assemblages to ceramics, crafts to jewelry, mixed media to digital media, or painting to photography, are welcome.
Interested artists can find more information and apply online through www.openstudios.gallery/application.