President’s letter: Portland Open Studios Runs on Volunteer power

By Leah Kohlenberg

Today, as we kick off the 21st year of Portland Open Studios by opening our call to artists, I am privileged to find myself in the company of the open studios board. The board members are all volunteers, and put in thousands of hours of work, starting now, to make this event a success in October. These people are seriously dedicated!

Returning are Maude May (Vice President), Shelly Edwards (Treasurer), Jolinda Miller (Secretary), Janie Lowe (Education), Duck Holland (Community Liaison), and David Friedman (Webmaster). Please refer to our Instagram and Facebook pages to find out more about these people.

Joining us this year is Kirista Trask as our Marketing Director. This is a new board position, and Kirista is creating an exciting and comprehensive new marketing strategy for us! Expect to see more consistent messaging, tight branding and much more visibility this year. Learn more about Krisita in her own words here.  Even board members who are stepping down this year aren’t really leaving the Open Studios world. Samyak Yamauchi, who served two years as volunteer liaison and recruitment coordinator, is continuing to help out with our social media posting on facebook. Pat Kane, who has served a record seven years on the board, most recently as the communications director, is continuing on as our newsletter editor. Kit Carlton, who spent one year as our events coordinator, is volunteering to teach art at an elementary school for a Latino Network-Open Studios collaboration.

The thing all these people have in common is a commitment to building a bridge between artist and patron. And we are looking forward to making 2019 our most successful, most fun year yet!

A Word from the President

You might think of Portland Open Studios as an October happening. And yes, while it’s true our flagship event – the citywide open art studio tour – takes place over the second and third weekends of October, our 100 artists are around and visible  all year round. And we want to do more!

You’ll see us demoing and sharing our process at the art stores Blick, Artist & Craftsman and Collage all summer and into the fall. We are showing art in venues all over the city. We are working with high school interns (our application program is still open, go  here  to register.  And this year, our interns will be showing WITH us during the October tour.

Many of us offer classes in our studios all year long. We believe with a passion that everyone should love art, do art, and appreciate art. We think your life will be better for it, and we want to connect with you! This year, when we launch our new October tour guide phone app (in late summer), we will include a calendar function – that means all our artists can report on classes, shows, public exhibitions and other events all year round. It also means you can find them, in one place. (Thank hard-working board members David Friedman, Maude May and Duck Holland, and volunteer/data administrator Charlotte Cunningham for all the ground work they are doing now to launch this project).

But we are also open to ideas from you, the community. Please tell us if you have ideas about how we can interact with YOU! We love visiting schools, public offices, corporations, nursing homes. We are open to programming ideas of all kinds. We are an army of 100 artists, and we would like to serve our community. So please do tell us how: Write to me with any ideas, at leah@portlandopenstudios.com.

We are listening.

Much Respect,

Leah Kohlenberg
President, Portland Open Studios
www.portlandopenstudios.com