Artstra to host eighth Clark County Open Studios tour

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Sebastian Rubino / sebastian@thereflector.com

After a one-year hiatus, the nonprofit Artsstra will host the eighth Clark County Open Studio Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 6 and 7.

The popular self-guided tour celebrates the creativity of local artists and artisans as they open their doors to the public.

“This is an opportunity for the community to come out and experience the life of an artist,” said Jennifer Williams, director of Open Studios. “With so many different types of artists, there is something for everyone.”

Williams was inspired to launch the event in 2013 after attending Artstra’s Arts and Culture Summit the previous year. The community was invited to discuss the art and what they wanted to see.

As Williams often took her friends to other people’s studios for fun, she decided that a larger event of a similar nature was needed in the community, as it allows artists to show their work to a wider audience. .

“The real reason I did it was that I accidentally met a few artists through different means such as Michelle Allen,” Williams said. “She’s been an artist in the community for 20 years and so have I, and we never crossed paths or had a clue what each other’s art was like. The point of all of this is therefore for Open Studios to discover the incredible artistic community that we have here. There have always been artists here, but no one knew them.

An example of an artist featured on the tour is Ann Fleming, who just moved from White Salmon to Ridgefield. She is a bronze sculptor, ceramicist and painter whose painting “Release Peace” was featured in the marketing material for the Open Studios Tour. Williams felt the image was inspiring for this year.

Other examples include Connie Ford, who weaves baskets using sweetgrass, red and yellow cedar, willow, driftwood, bark, and garden cuttings. Then there is Anne Gilmour, who has her workshop on a farm. Gilmour collects the wool from the sheep she raises, which she later puts on and weaves.

Although she hasn’t been a featured artist on recent tours, Williams will be a participant again this year as she shows off her paintings of environmental landscapes.

“I haven’t opened my studio in four years because I just painted in my galleries and I’ve been too busy running the tour,” Williams said. “I am very happy to be back on tour this year as a participant and look forward to reconnecting with the community.”

Not only are the works of art worth highlighting, but their location is a fun sight in itself. Williams mentioned Mary Grout, who lives by the Lewis River in Woodland and makes ceramics.

“So you don’t just see their art, but you get the whole thing,” Williams said.

Since there are 50 featured artists scattered around Clark County, Williams suggests looking at the Artist Directory map on the Artstra website to find artists located near where the attendee lives. the tour.

“Who knows, maybe your neighbor is an artist and you’ve never known him,” she said.

Another way to narrow down the options, Williams said, is for participants to go online to see the work they are interested in by looking at the category filters on Artstra’s artist page featured on their website.

For example, someone who has taken a glassmaking course and wants to learn more, can go online to see who makes glass art. For those who aren’t comfortable navigating the map online, Williams said people can turn the map into a PDF and print it.

The Open Studios Artist List, which contains the filters, can be found online at artstra.org/2021-open-studios-artists.

The artist directory map is available online at tinyurl.com/e5n5fe8v.


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