Are you an artist? Thinking about applying to Portland Open Studios, but have questions? Want to meet others in the art community?

We are participating with two uber-cool galleries, Ori Gallery and Una Gallery, in the Feb. 26 Art Spark organized by the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC). The event is from 6-8 pm at the Lagunitas Community Room, and like all Art Sparks you’ll get to meet and mingle with many other folks in our multi-faceted art community with music, beer and food.

There will also be a brief talk about the barriers and best practices for responding to open art calls, and talk about what we are all doing to address equity, inclusion and diversity. Plus there will be a raffle with swag, and we are giving out slots to ten artists to get your art professionally photographed FOR FREE if you’d like to apply to our open studios event this year. More details here:

Meet the Board

Leah Kohlenberg, our President, is a professional, internationally known artist, educator and published author, but she is even more than that to our Board. She joined the board in 2016 and has been a force of nature ever since. Leah is a visionary who has exciting ideas for Portland Open Studios and the determination to inspire the Board and others surrounding us to bring them to fruition.



Maude May, Vice President, joined our board in 2017 and has been a source of energy and enthusiasm ever since. She is a working artist, with a background in graphic design, having run her own graphic company for over 15 years. This year she takes over the position of Vice President and she promises to be a guiding force for all the exciting things about to happen.







Jolinda Miller, new to the board this year, is the PDXOS Secretary. She is a teacher for Portland Public Schools and sees each day the power of art to lift and inspire her students.





When Shelly Edwards isn’t rockin’ our books as Portland Open Studio’s Treasurer, she’s helping people understand Alzheimer’s and its effects or serving as a worship leader and pianist for Portland First United Methodist Church. She gives an exceptional amount of her time to serving others, and our Board is grateful to have her watching over our funds.



Kit Carlton, a working mixed media artist, serves as our Events Chair and periodic contributor to our blog and newsletter. As a bit of a polymath, she revels in all things art history, music (especially of the synth variety), neuroscience, philosophy and poetry. She obtained her dual-degree from Texas State University before eventually transplanting to the PNW over a decade ago. Her degrees in Anthropology and English (as well as her constant self-directed research) invariably shape her aesthetic, which focuses on the intersection of science and pnuema. This is Kit’s first year with the board, but given her versatility and task-drive undoubtedly our events will come off without a hitch.



Charlotte Cunningham, while not a formal member of the Board, still serves in a vital capacity as our Administrator, managing the artist application and acceptance process and the database.   An artist herself, she also spends time sketching, crocheting, and assisting in the art department of her son’s grade school.





Kerri Hewett is our President emeritus. She spent the last three years reforming the board when we lost our administrator, Jason Kappus. She also updated the website and is the reason we are able to take off at a run this year with new ideas and a new energetic spirit.  We treasure her knowledge and welcome her input.



David Friedman, our co-Communications Chair and Webmaster, is new on the board this year. David is a working artist, focused on the media of papercutting. He is also a website specialist and graphic artist (he designed and maintains the Art in the Pearl website). We are extremely fortunate that he will be shepherding our Website and helping with our new app.



Duck Holland, new to the Board this year, will be involved in fundraising as well a serving as our Community Liaison. Her background spans art restoration to corporate executive to advocate for artists and the artist community. “My mission is to make PDXOS a ‘must see’ on every Portlanders’ calendar. And I play bass.”


Pat Kane is our co-Communications Chair. This will be her sixth year on the Board. She publishes the newsletter and the blog, focusing on our artists and their accomplishments. She also utilizes her writing experience to edit all written content that goes out.




Janie Lowe, new to the Board this year, is our Education Chair.  She studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York.  Janie already has some great ideas to energize our education program.  She co-founded YOLO ColorHouse, designing the harmonious palettes in the ColorHouse collection. Thankfully for all of us she is back in her studio now, and painting again.


Samyak Yamauchi, our Volunteer Coordinator, is a spontaneous painter who joined the board in 2017, after four years as a participating artist. She’s had a challenge from the start since we removed the volunteer requirement for our artists. Even so, she has helped the board stay on track with her loving attitude towards all things Portland.

A word from our President

What an exhilarating moment – Portland Open Studios turns 20!

What started out as an idea to connect artists directly to the public in the basement of our founder, Portland artist Kitty Wallis, has morphed into an annual, educational, citywide art studio tour. Though it’s taken many forms over the years, for at least 15 years the second and third weekends of October are reserved for art lovers to meet and explore the artists living and working in their neighborhoods and beyond in their natural habitat – the art studio. As we have grown, we’ve recognized the increasing need for this type of art exposure, because we believe that creativity empowers and everyone should experience it, do it, and feel it directly.

At age 20, we can assure you – our 2018 Art Studio Tour will be better than ever! As usual, we’ll jury in 100 artists to represent our city’s professional working artists. As usual, during Oct. 13-14 and 20-21, we will invite the public to join us in those 100 artist studios, seeing (and often participating in) the creation of art.

VP Maude May meeting with Portland Monthly

What we will change this year is how we deliver our information about the tour. While our printed guide, so generously distributed through New Seasons grocery stores, used to be the main information source for locating artists during the tour, that is no longer the case. Now, most tourgoers opt to purchase the tour guide in the form of a mobile app. Meanwhile the printed guide sales have steadily declined over the years – it’s become a very costly brochure that fewer people pick up or even notice.

That’s why we are excited to announce our new partnership to print and distribute our paper version of the tour guide – with Portland Monthly Magazine! This year, tour goers can find the guide in the October issue (which focuses, appropriately, on weekend getaways). That brings the cost of the guide for tour goers down from $15 to $6, and with circulation numbers of 55,000, we are anticipating dramatically increased exposure! This new guide will be a streamlined version of our former 80-page tome – so you’ll be able to access the information much more quickly.

We’ll also be rolling out an updated mobile app tour guide (more details on that to come), and we’ll be updating our website so that people who want to access the artists can do so for free.

Welcome to Portland Open Studios 20th year – or as we like to think of it, Open studios 2.0!

Leah Kohlenberg