Open Studios is a free self-guided tour, produced by Arts Council Santa Cruz County, that invites the public into more than 300 artist studios across Santa Cruz County. Open Studios 2018 takes place the first three weekends of October, from 11am to 5pm Saturdays and Sundays.
South County: October 6 & 7
North County: October 13 & 14
All County: October 20 & 21
View artists A-Z or by map to plan your tour in advance. After October 1, download the phone app or pick up a free Artist Guide, available at all Good Times distribution sites throughout the county.
Questions: Contact Open Studios Director Ann Ostermann, 831-475-9600 x17, email@example.com
Plan Your Tour
Pick up an Artist Guide
The 2018 Open Studios Artist Guide is FREE and will be available in mid-September. Guides can be found alongside the Good Times at locations throughout Santa Cruz County.
Do you live out of the county? Email us to request a guide be shipped to you.
Download the App
Free app (or app update) available October 1, 2018. If you downloaded the App to an iPhone or iPad in 2016 or 2017 you will be able to install an update.. Or download for the first time via iTunes or GooglePlay. Search keyword “Open Studios Art Tour”.
Follow the Green Signs
Another popular tour strategy is to choose a neighborhood and then follow the signs. Each studio puts out large lime green signs pointing to their location.
Browse the map above to find 300+ participating artists by location. Click the "+" in the lower left hand corner to zoom in, and the "-" to zoom out. Click in the upper right hand corner to view a full screen version of the map. Click on any location to see artist details. Artist number corresponds with numbers in the guides and on the green street signs you'll see during the event. Artists #1-141 are participating as South County artists, #142-312 are North County artists.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does Open Studios take place? In artist's studios throughout Santa Cruz County.
South County (October 6-7) includes studios south of the Yacht Harbor: Live Oak, Capitola, Soquel, Aptos, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, and Watsonville
North County (October 13-14) includes studios north of the Yacht Harbor: Santa Cruz, Davenport, Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Ben Lomond, Felton, and Scotts Valley
Find participating All County (October 20-21) artists in the guide and map, or just look for the green signs all over the county.
What is a studio and what is it like to visit them? A studio is a place where someone makes art – it could be a room in their house, a space in a warehouse, a garage, or something different altogether. Everyone has a different method to their art-making – clean or messy, funky or classic, huge or tiny. Open Studios gives you an opportunity to see this amazing variety of approach and style – enjoy!
Why do Open Studios? Experience art where it was created, meet the artist, and learn about their artistic process. Open Studios is also a great way to meet neighbors that you might not have known were artists, or visit a new part of the county. Visit one studio or make a day of it.
Who is Open Studios for? Anyone. Seriously, you don’t even need an artist guide (although it helps). You can follow the green directional artist signs and indulge your sense of adventure. It’s a great thing to do alone, with family, or with friends.
Is it free? Yes! The guide is free, the app is free, there is no cost for visiting a studio. You might want to bring your wallet just in case you find a perfect piece to bring home or gift to a loved one.
Who are the Open Studios artists? They’re your friends, neighbors, or sometimes people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. Some artists are shy and some are gregarious. Some artists are hobbyists, others have non-art day jobs, and some are full-time artists.
Artists have been selected based on their anonymous application by a jury of seven arts professionals, all from outside of Santa Cruz County.
I'm an artist. How can I apply to be part of the tour? Applications for the tour are available online every year starting March 1; the deadline to apply is April 30. The tour is limited to adults [18 or older] who are residents of Santa Cruz County.
Participating artists have paid for the opportunity to meet you. They want to feel appreciated and share their process with art-loving (or art-curious) folks like you. Feel free to ask them questions or quietly soak it all in.
Of course they’d love for you to buy their work, but there’s no obligation to buy a thing. That said, artists have pieces for sale in all price ranges. And, if you see something you can’t live without but don’t have the cash on hand, a lot of artists offer payment plans. Just ask.
I’m coming from out of town, where’s a good place to stay? Hotel Paradox is offering great deals as our preferred lodging partner. Or, find a great place to stay through Visit Santa Cruz County.