Take the Tour

You’ve never been on the Tour before and you want to know what it’s all about?
Scroll down and I’ll explain.
Or you can watch this short video from One Hundred Seconds:
*Please note that the ticket options the video references are out-of-date – details are here and below.

Video features Kindra Crick, Jesse Reno, and Jenn Gauer and Meghan Radick.


What is Portland Open Studios?
The short version:
Portland Open Studios is an annual self-guided studio tour of 100+ artists studios across the metro area during the second and third weekends in October.

The long version:

When is it?
In 2015 the PDXOS Tour is October 10th, 11th, 17th, and 18th from 10am – 5pm each day.

Where is it?
The Tour takes place throughout the Portland metro area, which is Clackamas County, Multnomah County, and Washington County.

How are you going to find these artists?
You need a map – that’s also your ticket.

  • You can buy a Tour Guide that features both Eastside/Westside maps and neighborhood maps, along with artwork from the participating artists, the artists’ contact information, and the media(s) they work in for $15 here.
  • You can buy a Mobile App with images from the participating artists, google maps for the addresses, the ability to plan which artists you will see and take notes about the artists you’ve visited and more. The ‘Portland Open Studios App’, for $4.99, available for both iPhone and Android here.

You can buy these directly from the website by following the above links or you can buy Tour Guides from any New Seasons location and from certain retailers as noted here. (link to come)

Who are these artists?
Every year a lot of artists apply to participate in Portland Open Studios. A jury of three arts professionals (the jury is different each year) vote on their favorites based solely on three images submitted by the artists. They don’t know the names of the artists, their experience level, where they live, or anything about them.
Because they choose based only on the quality of artwork, the resulting participating artists are quite varied. Some artists have little experience showing their work and others are in multiple galleries. Some artists are shy and some are gregarious. Some artist are hobbyists, some have non-art day jobs, and some are full-time artists.

What is a studio and what is it like to visit them?
We define a studio as a place where someone makes art.
Some artists make art in their living room, their basement, their garage, etc and some artists have a dedicated art workspace in an apartment, office, or professional building. Some artists work in closet sized spaces and some in warehouse sized spaces. Some artists are exceedingly tidy with everything item in their studio labeled and others have a small path cleared in their stacks of clutter.
‘It varies’ might be an easier way to say all that. It’s interesting to see which artists inhabit which kinds of spaces and whether that effects their work.

Artists are people with varied ways of expression. Some artists are extremely social and can be the life of the party (and not just because they are wearing something funky). Some artists are shy and do not know what to say about their work unless asked a direct questions.
Super important thing to remember:
All of the artists have paid for the opportunity to meet you.
Yes, they would like for you to buy their work, but they want validation in other forms as well, like hearing your reaction to their artwork. Ask questions and feel free to engage artists in conversations about their work, process, and journey.

Artwork will be priced between $5 and $10,000, but mostly less than $500, and often less than $100. You are not obligated to buy anything from anyone and you will not be pressured to buy anything. If you love something, please consider a purchase and know that many artists offer payment plans, commissions, have refund policies, and many other considerations/amneties that you would expect from any business.

Why take the Tour?
It’s educational. It’s fun. Art is awesome. It’s an experience.
Portland Open Studios is about education first and foremost. Hopefully it’s also fun, engaging, interesting, and lots of other positive adjectives.
The Portland Open Studios Tour is about artists sharing their work, their process, and themselves. And equally about Visitors looking, asking questions, engaging with the artists, trying activities, and experiencing different kinds of creativity.

Looking at finished artwork (especially online or in a museum/gallery) it’s easy to think that art is magic. Remarkable art can seem to have appeared finished and never looked any other way that it does and as though no person made it. While this experience of artwork as otherworldly is valid and valuable, Portland Open Studios seeks to debunk that and pull back the curtain on the magic trick of artwork. No matter how remarkable the work, it was made by an interesting, fallible person and there was a step-by-step process that took it from nothing to something – and we think that process and that person can enhance the artwork or be interesting in their own right.
It’s not everyday that you get to talk to an artist about their work and their process, especially in the place where they make their work. We think that experience is pretty cool.

Who can go on the Tour
It’s a great thing to do alone, with family, or with friends.
A ticket is good for two adults. Anyone under 18 is free.

Why do we charge money for a ticket to the event (Tour Guide or Mobile App)?
2015 is our 17th year operating Portland Open Studios and a lot of people still don’t know about us. We want as many people as possible to know about our Tour and our participating artists, so we buy advertising. Those ads are paid for with the money earned from the previous year’s ticket sales.
The artists and our advertisers pay for the production of the Tour Guide, App, and website, as well as the couple people who get paid to help run the operation.
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit and all revenues are spent promoting the Tour and supporting the organization.

You’ve read all that and you still have a question?
E-mail me (Jason Kappus, Administrator) via admin@portlandopenstudios.com and I will answer your question or direct you to the person who can.