The Greater Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour celebrated 25 years showcasing local artists to their community during the annual tour, held Sept. 15 to 17 across Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula.
Twenty-seven area artists showed their work in 18 local studios that were open to the public, providing insight and education for the public on how artists live and work, said Brad Stave, tour chairman and woodworker.
“Everybody’s pretty delighted with the attendance and the whole experience. We try to focus on teaching and showing people how we do our craft or art. Just a lot of good positive feedback,” Stave said. “It’s a nice way for the community to know the local artists.”
The Open Studio Tour was founded in 1993 by late Gig Harbor painter and potter Al Johnsen. The first year’s tour featured six artists and has grown consistently since.
“People tend to get started in the tour and stay with it,” Stave said. “It’s evolved into a really good studio tour.”
Artists featured on the tour live and work in Gig Harbor, the Key Peninsula, Fox Island and South Kitsap. Various mediums are featured including paint, ink, metal, wood, clay, stone, fiber, glass and found objects.
Raft Island watercolor artist Kate Larsson has been participating on the tour for the past 14 years. She enjoys interacting with the community, providing the educational aspect about her work and showing her studios and home to visitors interested in how a working artist lives.
“I just feel that the people of Gig Harbor are really supportive of the arts, that’s why I continue to do (the tour),” she said. “The tour is a little bit lower key so you can spend time and talk with different people and tell them how you do your work, establish a different kind of connection. The studio tour can be an educational experience and a connection experience.”
Joining Larsson at her studio this year were local artists Sharon Carr and Patrice Bruzas. Carr demonstrated wax and oil painting while Bouza demonstrated Sumi, ink wash painting.
“It gives me a really good chance to show how I live as an artists. That I surround myself not only with my own artwork but with other people’s artwork,” Larsson said. “The community, if they support you, gets the art they support. Because Gig Harbor is such a supportive and welcoming art community you’re getting a lot of really good artists that want to stay here and show their art here. It’s really great to live in a community that supports art.”