Artists from around the Gig Harbor area will open their studios to the public in the Open Studio Tour on Sept. 20-22.
The Open Studio Tour has been around for 20 years and its mission is to educate about art and publicize the art community, said Arvid Anderson, Open Studio Artist. This is the first year the tour will run for three days.
Artists will be working on a piece in progress to allow visitors see how their work is created.
“Art making is a very unique experience to each artist,” said Pat Meras, Open Studio artist.
Artists will be able to answer questions and have some explanation of how their work is created, Meras said.
“It’s a regular studio day with a lot of visitors,” Anderson said. “That’s what makes it fun.”
In the Open Studio Tour, 24 artists will be featured in 21 studios. There will be a variety of mediums displayed throughout the tour. Artists will have work for sale during the tour.
Pat Meras is one of the artists in the Open Studio Tour this year. Meras has been immersed in art her entire life. She graduated from Montana State University with a degree in art.
“I’ve always been drawn to the arts from a really young age,” Meras said.
Meras has been involved in art for more than 40 years.
“I think it’s a great way of communicating,” Meras said. “There are things that can’t be said verbally. Painting is an emotional expression of feelings.”
Meras primarily creates pastel drawings and paintings. Meras paints figures and landscapes that inspire her but also tries to leave room for interpretation for the viewer.
“I want to engage the viewer and allow them to finish the painting from their own life experiences,” Meras said.
Meras often paints Northwest landscapes and said people from the area can connect with the scenes.
“The viewer can see something they relate to,” Meras said. “I like to leave enough mystery so each person can interpret it in their own way.”
Meras is drawn to light and shadows.
“My intent is simply to convey an emotional and intuitive response to the mystery and serenity of the landscape in light and shadow,” Meras said.
Each artist has a unique way of creating art and a unique story of how they got into art. Arvid Anderson practiced law for 35 years. Now that he is retired, he has immersed himself into his art.
“I found it(law) very satisfying, but very stressful,” Anderson said. “Now I can create when I feel like creating.”
Anderson makes monotypes, created by putting ink on a piece of plexi-glass with a brayer. Then Anderson either removes some of the ink or puts other objects on the glass to create shapes. He places paper over the glass and transfers the ink to it with a press. It is called a monotype because each piece he creates only makes one copy of paper.
Anderson was taught art by his mother who was a college art professor. Anderson inherited his press from his mother. Now Anderson said sometimes he learns by experimenting as he tries new things with the ink that he has not done before.
“There are no art police,” Anderson said. “You can produce experiments.”
Anderson has participated in the Open Studio Tour previously and has always had a good experience with it.
“It’s a good experience all around,” Anderson said.
The Open Studio Tour has been going on a number of years with some new and old artists. This year there are three new artists featured in the tour.
Emily Maxson Porter is one of the three new artists. She has been involved in art for about ten years and was a musician and composer previously, she said.
“Things carry over from one type of art to another,” Porter said.
Porter is focused in water media and said she is looking forward to showing people her art.
“I will be demoing a technique of acrylic painting that I use,” Porter said.
Porter is involved with Ebb Tide Gallery and has toured the Open Studio Tour in the past. She said she is excited to be a part of it this year.
“I am very much looking forward to the tour and sharing what I am doing with other people,” Porter said.
The Open Studio Tour is free and open to all. People may pick and choose which studios they want to tour. For more information visit GigHarborOpenStudioTour.org.