Explore Western Nevada County’s Vibrant Art Scene at the Fall Colors Open Studios Art Tour | TheUnion.com

Explore Western Nevada County’s Vibrant Art Scene at the Fall Colors Open Studios Art Tour

Come and see one of the reasons why Grass Valley/Nevada City was recently voted one of the 14 Cultural Arts Districts in California at the Fall Colors Open Studios Art Tour. Visit over 65 artists at 43 studios and art galleries throughout Western Nevada County's thriving arts community Saturdays and Sundays October 7, 8, 14, and 15.

For the past several years The Center for the Arts in partnership with the Nevada County Arts Council has coordinated these events, which span two weekends and allow art lovers to peek behind the scenes of the artistic process. This is a rare opportunity to see the places where art is made and to view new work and original art in a wide variety of media styles directly from the artists themselves. This year's tour features painters, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists, illustrators, jewelers, designers, woodworkers and more. Throughout the tour, there are 28 artists who will give live demonstrations and will be available to discuss and expound upon the art process from concept to completion.

Driving from location to location is an artistic experience in itself and a grand adventure, to boot. It is an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty that can be found in every corner of Western Nevada County, pronounced by the explosion of fall colors that have been said to rival those of New England. Participants are encouraged to experience all that the community has to offer by checking out local shops, restaurants, and community events like the Saturday morning Farmers Markets that take place in downtown Nevada City and the North Star House in Grass Valley.

In addition to being a boon for art lovers, the tour is a great thing for the artists who participate, as well. This is generally one of their biggest times to sell their pieces since so many people who have an interest in art are exposed to their work for the first time, as well as showing new pieces to their dedicated fans. "The Open Studios Art Tour gives me the opportunity to get organized and get all of my work up and my studio cleaned," said painter Jill Mahanna, who has been doing these events since they began. "It's a highlight of my year, in terms of my art business."

This is a rare opportunity to see the places where art is made and to view new work and original art in a wide variety of media styles directly from the artists themselves. This year’s tour features painters, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists, illustrators, jewelers, designers, woodworkers and more.

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The tour kicks off at 6 p.m. this Thursday, October 5, with a free-for-all-ages Preview Exhibit and Artist Reception at The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley. Stop by The Center to meet local artists and view their work, plan a weekend tour, buy art, preview upcoming shows and check out The Center’s many upcoming events. Each Studio Tour artist has one work of art on exhibit at The Center, so you can get a taste of the wide variety of talented artists you will find on the Tour. Pick up your free guide and preview the works and decide which of the 43 locations you want to visit; or just plan to visit them all!

While you're there, consider joining the Center of the Arts or renewing your current membership. The event kicks off the Center's Fall Membership Drive, and there will be special incentives for joining during the month of October. Those who become members during the Open House on October 5 will be allowed to spin the wheel and win artwork donated by some of the Open Studio artists or tickets to The Center's upcoming shows. Memberships start at $75 and are good for one year at the time of purchase. Members can save up to $10 per ticket on Center events and have access to tickets before they go on sale to the general public.

Because ticket sales cover only 60% of annual expenses, The Center relies on membership support from their patrons. Income from membership allows The Center to provide free community events (such as the Open Studios Art Tour) and programs that benefit local youth and provide opportunities for the visual arts in our community. Becoming a member at The Center for the Arts isn't just a good investment in the community; there are great benefits, too. As part of the Fall Membership Drive The Center will announce a special concert that will be on sale exclusively to members only during October. During the Fall Membership Drive there will also be weekly drawings with opportunities for new members to win tickets to The Temptations, Joan Osborne, or Pink Martini, an annual parking pass, and more!

With a strong membership base, The Center has the means to support and promote local artists, underwrite children's theater, provide low cost youth arts and education programs, partner with local non-profits, donate tickets to local nonprofits, and award scholarships to area youth. Amber Jo Manuel, Acting Executive Director says, “Membership is also vital to the Center’s ability to keep programming diverse, introduce audiences to new artists and enlighten and educate the community through the arts.”

To plan a tour, look for the Fall Colors Art Tour Guide Companion that will include: artist information, maps, nature trails, weekend events, live music and a list of tasting rooms and restaurants. The guides are available at: The Center for the Arts, Art Works Gallery, ASIF Studios, BriarPatch Co-op, GV & NC Chambers, Summer Thymes, The Artist Workshop, the Alexander Gallery, and LeeAnn Brook Fine Art.

For latest updates, online maps and a downloadable guide visit: openstudiostour.org.

For more information call: 530-274-8384 x19.

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