This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
By guest blogger, Arlington artist Melanie Kehoss
Everyone can appreciate a beautiful work of art, but the wider public is not always aware of the hard work, dedication and fascinating processes that lay behind its creation.
That’s why over 50 of Arlington’s visual artists are opening workspaces to the public for the first annual Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour, on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 (11:00 a.m.-5 p.m.). The online and print directory indicate if artists are open on Saturday, Sunday or both.
This free event allows local artists to feature their work, processes and studio spaces, while showcasing the richness and diversity of visual arts to be found in Arlington County. Visitors will find paintings, ceramics, jewelry, paper art, photography, and more.
The Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour is a joint effort by the Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Artists Alliance, Columbia Pike Artist Studios, Westover Artists and independent artists throughout Arlington County, with support from Arlington Cultural Affairs and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.
“Arlington has many accomplished artists creating significant bodies of work in their homes, garages or rented studio space,” says Katherine Freshley, former Executive Director of Arlington Arts Center. “This open studio tour provides a rare opportunity to see and understand the artistic process that often seems quite mysterious… You’ll walk away with new insights and appreciation for Arlington’s hidden treasures — visual artists.”
“This tour addresses a central goal of Arlington County’s Arts and Culture strategy, Enriching Lives — to promote local artists and assist them in developing new audiences,” says Michelle Isabelle-Stark, Director of the Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development, which is a sponsor of this event highlighting the County’s diverse range of visual artists. “Moreover, the fact that this initiative emerged organically — by and of the artists — is itself a testament to the continued growth and vitality of Arlington’s creative community.”
Information about the tour, including a directory of artists, is available at arlingtonartstudiotour.org. You may also pick-up physical copies of the maps with studio addresses at Arlington Arts Center, Gallery Underground, Lee Arts Center and other locations.