Open Studios Art Tour

Artist David Salazar in his glass studio. Photo: Crystal Birns

Apply to be in Open Studios

Applications Open

March 1, 2023

Applications Close

April 30, 2023

Apply to Become an Open Studios Artist

Applications for the 2023 tour will be available March 1, 2023. The tour is limited to adults [18 or older] who are residents of Santa Cruz County. Email Ann Ostermann, to be notified when applications open, and receive guidelines and guidance.

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  • Increased visibility and name recognition

  • $20,000+ in print, online, and radio ads throughout Santa Cruz County, Silicon Valley, and Monterey County that promote the event

  • Listing in the Open Studios Artist Guide and App (22,000 free Guides are available throughout the county + the free app)

  • Listing on the Open Studios webpage, including Artist Guide image of your artwork and a link to your website or sales platform

  • Social media reach through the Open Studios Facebook page, Instagram page, and Arts Council email and newsletter with a reach of more than 5,000 people

  • Preparation support for marketing and merchandising your work

  • Exhibit of your work in the Preview Exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League

  • Up to two full weekends to welcome the public to your studio or creative space

  • Dedicated private Facebook page for artists - exchange ideas, seek support and advice

  • All first-time participants are offered one-on-one mentoring from a veteran Open Studios artist.

  • Arts Council provides technical support to artists in the months leading up to the start of the Tour including workshops (ZOOM), support documents, a private resources page, and emails covering a variety of topics – marketing your artwork, pricing your artwork, social media “how-to”, and more.

  • Artists are invited to join a private Facebook group for Open Studios artists.

Yes. Artists may host as many other Open Studios artists as they can accommodate

Artists must agree not to exhibit, sell, or host non-participating artists in the space over which they have interest or control. Artists who have not been invited as an Open Studios artist are asked not to present themselves as Open Studios artists.

Artists may apply together on one application only if all of the artwork is created collaboratively.

On the opening day of the tour you must exhibit a body of work consisting of at least 15 pieces of original art, created between 2019 to the present, in the medium under which you were invited as an Open Studios artist. Artists may display and sell other media and styles during Open Studios.

A reproduction is defined as a copy of your original art. Reproductions for sale may be included in your Open Studios display, with the following restrictions:

  • Original work should be prominent and should be seen first as visitors enter the studio area.

  • Only 20% of an artist’s Open Studios display space should be allocated for reproductions.

  • Reproductions should be separated from the main body of original work and clearly labeled as reproductions.

  • An explanation of the reproduction process should be posted near the presentation of any reproduction(s). This serves to educate the public about the distinction between original art and reproductions.

  • Photography and digital art are considered original art, not reproductions.

Yes, but keep in mind that digital images of your art are your only voice to the jury that determines whether or not you are invited to be part of the Tour.

There are many local photographers who specialize in photographing fine art. Many of them offer specials to Open Studios applicants. Contact them for more information or a list of clientele that have used their services.

While many marketing options are free, there are other optional marketing and promotional expenses that you might consider investing in and budgeting for:

  • Artist Postcards

  • Food & beverages at your Open Studios

  • Material costs to prepare artwork for sale (framing, matting, displays, etc.)

  • Paid advertising in local papers and online

  • Professional photographs of your artwork

  • Website design/updating

Connect to the Arts Community

Discover other ways to get involved year-round.

Artist Opportunities

Find opportunities and resources for artists across the county.

Watsonville Center for the Arts

Connect with this dance and music collective in downtown Watsonville.

Tannery Arts Center

Open Studios Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor
Major Sponsors
Media Sponsor