Santa Cruz is a cultural beacon for many reasons, one of its best being that it has more artists per capita than any other county our size.
During the first three weekends in October, the public is invited to cruise North and South County and connect with these local Santa Cruz artists and their work spaces during the Open Studios Art Tour. With a few simple steps of picking up a guide and following the green signs, art enthusiasts can embark on an art treasure hunt that brings them together with hundreds of artists living and working throughout Santa Cruz.
Since it launched thirty two years ago in 1986, Open Studios has evolved into a highly anticipated and renowned annual event that is smoothly facilitated by the creative force of the Arts Council Santa Cruz County. In addition to inspiring our local community, the success of our resident Open Studios Art Tour has inspired the development of other tours in cities and counties around the United States, including Portland, Oregon, and Philadelphia.
Each year, the Art Tour features new artists to discover and old favourites to revisit. The 2017 Tour celebrates more than 300 local artists working in dozens of mediums. This year, there are 44 artists who are new to the Tour and 37 artists who have participated for more than twenty years. Art fans are welcomed to wander their studios, chat with the artists in person, watch live demonstrations of their artistic process, and buy art straight from the source. Their work spans a vast range of media, including painting, printmaking, glass, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, woodwork, and wearable art.
The Arts Council continues to make planning a customized art adventure easy, fun, and free. This is the second year the organization is providing the options of an Open Studios Artist Guide and the Art Tour App at no cost. Guides can be picked up alongside the Good Times or the App can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play. The Art Tour spreads from Davenport to Watsonville and all stops in between, with studios open for the public to wander through each day from 11am – 5pm.
The studios are divided between North and South County (with the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor as the dividing point). The weekend of October 7th and 8th features 146 North County artists and October 14th and 15th features 156 artists South County artists. October 21st and 22nd marks the grand finale with an All County weekend that features 245 select artists in both North and South County.
For more details about the 2017 Open Studios Art Tour, visit artscouncilsc.org.
Open Studios Preview Exhibits
For a sneak peek at the work of each participating 2017 artist, don’t miss a visit to the Santa Cruz Art League and the R. Blitzer Gallery. Through October 22nd, the Art League is featuring one piece from each artist in the Open Studios Art Tour Preview Exhibit, and the Blitzer Gallery is featuring artwork from remote areas of Santa Cruz County in the Satellite Preview Exhibit.
Santa Cruz Art League
Sept 30 – Oct 22
526 Broadway, Santa Cruz
Oct 6-26, closed Mondays
2801 Mission St, Santa Cruz
First Friday Art Tour Reception
Oct 6, 5-9PM
Both Galleries Open
October 7-8 North County
October 14-15 South County
October 21-22 All County
Hours 11am – 5pm