Tucson-area artists will again open their studios to the public this spring in a series of Open Studios tours. An Open Studios tour is a public event in which art lovers are invited to visit the studios of working artists, to see each artist’s most recent work, to talk with the artist about the artistic process, and perhaps even to see the artist at work. Artists will have work on sale, and visitors are invited to become art patrons and take home a unique work of art.
Artwork featured in the studio tours is varied in both medium and style. There are painters, collage artists, jewelers, sculptors, glass artists, and ceramic artists showing their work. There’s also some artwork that fits into more than one category. “Mixed media” may be the best description.
First on the schedule is Heart of Tucson Art, a group of mid-town Tucson artists who will host the initial spring Open Studio tour on April 9 and 10. Heart of Tucson Art held its first tour in October 2015. The tour was so successful that the artists’ group (HOT-Art for short) immediately scheduled a spring tour for 2016. Hot-Art is taking registrations now for artists who want to participate. Check the website at www.HeartofTucsonArt.info for registration, tour maps for the public, and images of participating artists’ works.
Unlike previous years in which only one tour was available in the spring and fall, the Open Studio Tour event changed in the fall of 2015. Tucson Pima Arts Council had been the sponsor of the only Open Studios Tour fall event for several years, but TPAC lost funding and decided to cancel the fall 2015 tour.
Artists concerned about the loss of an important event for them joined together to form popup tour groups. Art Trails (www.ArtTrails.org) was first to organize an October tour for the west and northwest side of Tucson. Heart of Tucson Art (www.HeartofTucsonArt.info) came next and organized a fall Open Studio Tour for mid-town Tucson that included about 25 artists. Meanwhile, Tucson Pima Arts Council unexpectedly received a donation of $21,000 from Tucson businessmen Jim Click and Fletcher McCusker which made it possible for TPAC to hold its traditional city-wide tour in November. The three tours were held on different weekends which gave visitors more opportunity to visit studios in different parts of the city.
For the spring tour, in addition to Heart of Tucson Art mid-town artists, Oracle artists will be holding their tour on April 16 and 17 (https://www.oraclestudiotour.com/) and a May two-weekend city-wide tour is being hosted by Dirk Arnold. This final spring tour is known as Tucson Artists’ Open Studios. More information can be found on the tour’s website (https://www.tucsonopenstudios.com/)