Lovers of local artwork who are curious about artists and the creative process can tour multiple studios in the Willamette Valley, meet nearly 40 artists, and buy work during an event spanning two weekends of October. The 16th annual Philomath Open Studios Art Tour and Sale includes 14 locations and 38 artists in and around Philomath. The self-guided tour is scheduled for the final two weekends of the month, Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27. Each day, studios are open from 12 noon to 5 p.m. The tour is free. Visitors can start at any studio.
This year, the tour — commonly referred to as P.O.S.T. — includes 19 new artists and three new studio locations. All artists who open their studios have at least one guest artist. One of the combinations is a father and son: Host Jeff Gunn displays his ceramics alongside the hand-forged metal works of his son, Nate. Two high school art teachers, meanwhile, have students as guest artists. Acrylic artist Emily Thomas hosts three student-artists in the art room at Philomath High School. Babette Grunwald, a teacher at Albany High School who works in mixed media, textiles, and encaustic mediums, hosts three students at her home studio in Marys River Estates. One site on the tour is located in a place of business: In the tasting room of Spindrift Cellars in downtown Philomath, watercolor artist Kris Mitchell hosts guest artists in jewelry and photography.
P.O.S.T. showcases a broad array of artistic media, including ceramics; basketry and fiber art; oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings; photography; jewelry; glass; mosaic; multimedia; illustration; pastel; digital art; alcohol ink; hand-forged metal; printmaking; found-object sculpture; and dye painting on silk. Styles vary widely, as well. Some works can easily be described as traditionally beautiful while others venture into the experimental and surreal. Visitors can purchase works suitable for indoor as well as outdoor locations.
The tour offers the chance to go “backstage” and meet the artists who create the work. Visitors can ask questions and see the supplies, tools, equipment, and processes of making art. The tour covers a broad area that includes Philomath and locations outside the city limits. Distinctive yellow signs with the P.O.S.T. hand symbol mark studio locations and keep vistors on track through the route.
Two related exhibitions that showcase work by P.O.S.T. artists are scheduled to open in September, one at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath and another at the Philomath Community Library (details on both to be announced).
Visit PhilomathOpenStudios.com for a map with studio locations and artist information. The website also contains multiple images of each artist’s work and individual profiles. Brochures containing the map, artist data and images will be available starting in September at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath, The Arts Center in Corvallis, and galleries and other locations in the area.
For more information (including additional or high-resolution images), contact Keith Bowers at email@example.com or 510.913.4302.