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

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