Arts scene Annual event throughout Yamhill County provides insight into artists lives and work
For 21 years the Art Harvest Studio Tour has given the public a chance to peek into local artists lives. What James Nelson said started as a grassroots organizations dream to open the art world to the public has blossomed into the oldest studio tour in Oregon.
We kind of started the whole idea to get kids in school to learn about art making and for the public to understand artists and their works, said the Art Harvest tour coordinator. Theres a lot of curiosity about artists.
Art Harvest is hosting 39 artists this year, displaying their work and studios across the length and breadth of Yamhill County. New to the tours this year are public exhibits at multiple locations displaying work before the tours begin. The largest of these is from Sept. 25 until Oct. 13 at the Chehalem Cultural Center, where Nelson said each artist will preview two pieces.
While the tours may be focused on providing the public with an understanding of artists and their world, Art Harvest also works to bring art to local children and open their studios during the week for additional tours.
Kathy Thompson, a Newberg mosaics artist, said its a wonderful way to expose kids to art. Im always amazed at their questions and how they relate my art to their lives, she said.
Thompson said shes been involved with Art Harvest for about 10 years with her favorite aspect being the studio tours.
Visitors can actually see how art is made, she said. In my case I can demonstrate that my mosaics are much more than breaking china dishes and gluing them to a surface. I actually make my tiles from rolled out clay. I walk those who are interested through the entire process and whether they buy something or not, they leave with more than they came with.
James Morehead, a Newberg oil and acrylic painter, got involved with Art Harvest after attending as a visitor.
I loved talking with the artists and seeing their studios, he said. My family and I talked it over and built the studio so I could participate. I continue because I believe in its value to the community and I enjoy meeting art enthusiasts.
Nelson said although he cant pick a favorite artist he said it would be like picking a favorite child he enjoys the variety the artists bring to the tours.
Its important that the public get to see the variety, he said. Some are self taught and some have masters degrees, but no one is better than the others. Theyre all developing artists and growing through their work.
For those who havent attended in the past, Nelson said its nothing like a gallery opening. No one will be wearing suits and no one will be pushing to sell their work.
You can see the landscape, some serve some food, they make visiting friendly, he said. It will be more like, This is my work and if you want to buy Id love to sell to you. Some do well, others dont. Its just the way it is.
Admission requires a button that can be purchased at five different locations for $7. Studios are open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 4-6 and 11-13.
For more information, visit www.artharveststudiotour.org.