What’s the point of Open Studios?

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March 29, 2017 by Natalie

Wherever there is some light, a white wall, and a blank surface, you’ll find artists eager to get to work. The Umbrella is no exception. With fifty-five artists working year round in their studios, the building is always brimming with creativity.  

Open Studios is our annual tradition of inviting the public to interact the creativity we get to live with every day. Unlike a museum or a gallery visit, at Open Studios you get the human experience of meeting the artist themselves and the environmental experience of being where the art was made. This is why, year after year, in town after town, people are hosting Open Studios.  

While every artist community has their own version of Open Studios, ours is unique for two reasons: 

All fifty-five artists exist under one roof. This means a lot less walking! At other Open Studios, where artists are spread all over town, the events can become a bit of a scavenger hunt. Here at The Umbrella, there’s a new artist through every door. This proximity also means our artists have a strong community together. They’re constantly talking to each other, comparing work, and giving pointers and they’re happy to let you into that process during our annual Open Studios weekend. 

Our artists are here for the long-term. Of our fifty-five artists, at least ten of them have been here since the building opened in 1983. Several more have been here since the 80’s, the 90’s, and the early two thousands. Their studios have become a home away from home, holding space for some of their most intimate explorations of self of the course of their entire lives. While many artists will create wherever they can find space, studios at The Umbrella have become works of art in and of themselves through years of dedication. 

We estimate that there are over 2,400 years of lived artistic experience currently working within the brick walls of The Umbrella. A trip to our Open Studios isn’t just a chance to see beautiful, local art—although there is plenty of that—it’s a chance to engage with 2,400 years’ worth of stories, expertise, and excitement. 

We’re looking forward to seeing you on April 1 and 2 in the studios! 

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