Now in its 12th year, the Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition’s Sedona Open Studios Tour runs like a well-oiled machine. On April 24, 25 and 26, 52 artists will open their studios from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving art lovers and art collectors a behind-the-scenes opportunity to observe the creative process and purchase directly from the artists. One of the best parts, says organizer and ceramicist Mike Upp, is that you don’t have to travel to 52 different studios. Many artists have partnered for the event so there are approximately 32 studios on the map this year. At one West Sedona location, six artists will be demonstrating and selling their work.
“We’ve spoken to many different organizers from other open-studios tours, and we’ve heard it’s the multiple-artist concept that equals success,” says Mike, whose Cornville studio will be open during the event. “Down in Carefree, they have 175 artists in only 65 studios.”
The studios are located in Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, Page Springs and Cornville. Participating artists are members of the nonprofit Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition, which currently boasts 150 members. Represented mediums include painting, sculpture, glass, jewelry, ceramics, photography and multimedia. The event is designed to be hands-on, interactive and educational. Participating artists aren’t shy – they love to talk about their inspiration and answer questions about their technique. Sedona Open Studios Tour also offers a way for gallery owners to shop for new artists anonymously. Mike says last year several participating artists garnered gallery representation from all across the state as a result of the weekend.
“Sedona is seeking to re-establish itself as an arts destination, and there’s no better way to do that than by growing open studios,” says Mike. “There are some cities with open studios tours that include 300 artists and last for two or three weekends. I think Sedona could easily grow to include 150 artists and several weekends.” – Erika Ayn Finch.
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