What a lot of work it is to participate in the Oracle Artist Studio Tour and what a lot of fun, too. This was Jim’s and my third year in the tour. It probably doesn’t occur to visitors to imagine the amount of planning that goes into an event like this. There’s the print publicity, the signage, the flyers, the tour organization, the Welcome Center and a gillion other details to be coordinated amongst a group of artists. If the event is well organized, then the visitors should be unaware of all the time and energy put into making the studio tour run smoothly. They should be able to easily find their way from studio to studio, admire the artwork and have a good time. Incidentally, purchases of artwork are a welcome part of the process, and really, that’s the point of the whole exercise (at least from the artists’ point of view.)
In addition to group planning, each individual has lots to accomplish, too. There’s the art to create. This can take months of hard work. Then there’s the cleaning of the studio to make it presentable to visitors. In my case, this meant filling the one-car garage adjacent to my studio with, well, lots and lots of stuff. Then there’s the organizing of the studio space in order to turn it into a gallery. The hanging, arranging and labeling of the artwork. The preparation of goodies for visitors to nibble on. A deep breath and two days of having delightful conversations with lots of friends and strangers who may or may not eventually decide to buy artwork.
Last year, we got up on the Saturday morning of the tour (also in April) and were aghast to see snow on the ground and a blizzard of snow coming down. The running joke this year was about the terrible weather last year. It seemed wildly improbable that it would happen again. It was like a recurring nightmare to get up on Saturday morning, this time in 2012, to see snow on the ground and more falling from the sky. Mind you, there had been no precipitation of any kind for what seems like months. And yes, we do need the moisture. But why on the first day of the Oracle Studio Tour? Two years in a row. What are the odds of that?
Luckily the snow didn’t stop visitors either year. While paper artist and friend, Val Bembenek and I manned my studio, Jim was able to slip away a few times to photograph of some of the other studios. All photographs in this blog post are by James Cowlin.
There were a total of twenty-one studios on the tour this year with most showing several artists. Jim got away to photograph some of the studios. He knows that I freak out if he’s gone for very long during the Studio Tour, so he selected just a few to photograph this year. And why do I freak out? Well, this year it’s because we were hooked up to the newfangled Square, a little gizmo that attaches to an IPad or IPhone and allows buyers to charge their purchases. I’m a bit iffy about the procedure, as with all things technological.
Thank you Jim for the photographs. And thanks to the many visitors. Thanks also to the artists and residents who worked so hard to make this event happen. And no thanks at all to the weather on Saturday!