About Open Studios

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Ann Ostermann
Open Studios & Events Manager
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Where does the tour take place?
The Tour takes place throughout Santa Cruz County, from Watsonville to Davenport and all stops in between:

  • South County includes studios south of the Yacht Harbor: Live Oak, Capitola, Soquel, Aptos, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, and Watsonville.
  • North County includes studios north of the Yacht Harbor: Santa Cruz, Davenport, Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Ben Lomond, Felton, and Scotts Valley

Why take the Tour?
Let art sparkle your day and experience art where it was created, from the person who created it and learn about their artistic process. You may find yourself in a part of the county that you’ve never been to as you track down art that captivates your eye. Bring your friends and a picnic (or pop by The Buttery and they’ll pack one for you), and have a day to remember.

Who can go on the Tour?
Anyone. Seriously, you don’t even need a Guide (although it helps). You can follow the green directional artist signs and indulge your sense of adventure. It’s a great thing to do alone, with family, or with friends.

Who are the Open Studios artists?
They’re your friends, neighbors, or sometimes people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. Some artists are shy and some are gregarious. Some artists are hobbyists, others have non-art day jobs, and some are full-time artists.

Artists have been selected based on their anonymous application by a jury of seven arts professionals. This year’s jury consisted of curators, art professors, gallery directors, and non-profit directors, all from outside of Santa Cruz County.

How can I apply to be part of the tour?
Applications for the tour are available online starting February 1st; the deadline to apply is April 30th. The tour is limited to adults [18 or older] who are full-time residents of Santa Cruz County.

What is a studio and what is it like to visit them?
A studio as a place where someone makes art – it could be a room in their house, a space in a warehouse, or something different altogether. Everyone has a different method to their art-ness – clean or messy, funky or classic, huge or teensy. Open Studios gives you an opportunity to see this amazing variety to approach and style – enjoy!

Remember: These artists have paid for the opportunity to meet you
They want to feel appreciated and share their process with art-loving (or art-curious) folks like you. Feel free to ask them questions or quietly soak it all in.

Of course they’d love for you to buy their work, but there’s no obligation to buy a thing. That said, artists have pieces for sale in all price ranges. And, if you see something you can’t live without but don’t have the cash on hand, a lot of artists offer payment plans. Just ask.

I’m coming from out of town, where’s a good place to stay?

Find a great place to stay, courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County.