Next weekend is Washington County Open Studios and that is my cue to get in gear and get the studio ready to receive guests! I have been merciless this week about decluttering. All my studio visitors will think I am organized and tidy every day of the year.
Today I hung up some recent work (above) and cleaned off my work surfaces before I headed down to the Beaverton Library for my volunteer docent stint at the Beaverton Art Mix show. It is a really nice juried show and I was pleased to be juried in for my third year. My piece was the only fiber work in the show this year, but it seemed like there was more mixed media, sculpture, ceramics and metalwork than past years, so not so heavily painting. A very good show, I thought.
Here I am with my piece, "The Moon is a Mirror". Today was the last day of the Beaverton show, so I will have the moon to show at the studio next weekend. It is the piece that is in the printed program for the tour, so it will be recognizable. I'm thinking I might hang it on the outside of the studio, next to the front door. I hope it doesn't rain. I am always asked questions about how the quilting is done when I have visitors in the studio, so I plan to have one of my machines set up with a sample quilt sandwich that visitors can try quilting on.
Open Studios is so much work, but so gratifying. It isn't about selling stuff (though that is sometimes a nice bonus). It is promoted as an opportunity for the community to get to know their artists and see where they work, and the people who come really seem to get that and have great questions and nice things to say and bring a feeling of celebration to the event. People of all ages, from small children to old folks all seem to get into it. Last year I was busy with a large group of people when I noticed a teenage girl slip in the door and begin carefully examining each exhibited work. She was dressed all in black, with blue-colored hair and her body language and bored expression did not invite engagement. I couldn't imagine what she was thinking. As she was about to quietly leave, I thanked her for coming and she finally made eye contact. "This," she said, twirling a finger around to indicate the entire studio, "Totally awesome." And she was gone, before I could return the compliment.
For all the information and list of artists and directions for the tour go to the web site, or pick up one of the great catalogs in public locations in Beaverton, or come to my studio first and I'll give you one. And did I mention—the tour is free. And totally awesome!