Tour Information

What is the Open Studios Art Tour?
The skinny
Open Studios Art Tour is an annual self-guided studio tour of nearly 300 artist studios across Santa Cruz County during the first three weekends in October.

The longer low-down

When is it?
In 2016 Open Studios is October 1st & 2nd (South County), 8th & 9th (North County), and 15th & 16th (All County) from 11am – 5pm each day.

Where is it?
The Tour takes place throughout Santa Cruz County, from the redwoods to the sea.

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

How do find the artists and their studios?
Get your Guide:

  • FREE in racks alongside the September 21st issue of Good Times
  • FREE in outlets starting Wednesday, September 21stList of Outlets (PDF)
  • FREE online preview on Good Times website, starting September 19th
  • In our FREE Open Studios Art Tour App (coming soon)

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 your sense of adventure. It’s a great thing to do alone, with family, or with friends.

Who are the 2016 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 the Central Coast and Bay Area outside 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.