Placer Arts Studio Tour
● By Style
This year marks PlacerArts Studios Tour’s 24th year. Started in 1994 by batik artist Helen Phillips who wanted to foster networking of local artists and art organizations, the tour initially brought together an infusion of various artists who were rather isolated otherwise—opening their private studios to the public where artist and viewer could inter-act. Taking place November 10-12, the current tour guides participants through Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn, Loomis, Newcastle and Colfax, among other locales. For newcomers or repeat visitors alike, this year, according to tour coordinator and participating artist Gia McNutt, offers new features—making the event even more enjoyable and enticing. “It’s an exciting year for the studio tour,” says McNutt. “I feel like I’m riding a comet right now!”
HLB: What types of artists are featured?
GM: The artists on the tour range from young emerging artists to veterans, creating art in watercolor, acrylic, oils, ceramics, wood, metal, sculpture, jewelry, drawing, glass, painted silk, mixed media, calligraphy, fiber art, photog-raphy, furniture, wearable art and more.
HLB: What’s new and exciting at this year’s tour?
GM: It’s our largest tour to date—100 artists and 43 locations. We’re also featuring 14 up-and-coming “next generation” artists for the first year ever and have introduced a tour bus, as well as the PlacerArts Passport App (PAPA).
HLB: Why is it essential for artists to interact with their audiences?
GM: A studio tour gives the public an opportunity to see the artist at work, in his/her studio environment. They can ask questions and get to know the artist as an individual. Artists have the honor of welcoming patrons to their studio, as well as meet people who may become new friends. A big part of PlacerArts mission is education—sharing the artistic process, engaging people in the world of art, and perhaps inspiring individuals to enter art as a profession. Art is virtually gone from public schools; we consider the tour an opportunity to help engage the next generation of potential artists. We’re especially proud to be showing so many next generation artists on the tour.
HLB: What are your thoughts on the state of our community’s art scene?
GM: The foothills and Placer County are truly an arts destination. We have more artists per capita than many other larger metropolitan areas. The beauty in nature surrounds us here, and it’s a lovely place to live. That being said, there has been a decline in youths entering visual arts as a profession; [to that end] we will continue to offer youth art classes, and promote these emerging artists on the tour.
HLB: What are some future goals for the tour?
GM: We’ve accomplished a lot this year, but would like to continue to expand our geographic reach and increase the number of artists participating in certain areas of Placer County, such as Lincoln and Loomis. This year, 60 percent of our artists on tour are in cities outside of Auburn; we will work to continue to grow that percentage to represent Placer County in its entirety. placerarts.org