Open Studio Tour celebrates local artists |

Open Studio Tour celebrates local artists

This weekend, local artists will share the places where they make sculptures of clay and found objects, paintings in oil, acrylic and watercolor, drawings in charcoal, and works in wood, fiber and photography, all during the second weekend of the Open Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s the first such event for oil painter Jan Newell, 56, a recent transplant from Maui. Accustomed to painting in the Hawaiian rain forest, Newell uses vivid colors to convey the soulful essence of living things not normally seen as animate, she said.

Newell brought her insight into what she called the “thread of energy that runs through all living things” to her new home, where she has been inspired by such flowers as yellow iris and Chinese poppies.

So to open her creative space to the public here “is wonderful,” Newell said. “There’s just so much magic in an artwork. To be able to share that and bring somebody else into it, is why I’m here.”

Newell is among more than 60 western Nevada County artists participating in the show. She has shown in galleries in Hawaii, but has had little exposure in her new home.

The studio tour offers artists such as Newell a chance to be seen more widely, said oil pastel artist Liz Collins, a well-established artist whose whimsical, colorful scenes were among the offerings last weekend.

“It’s great for both the artist and the community,” Collins said. “It’s fun for people to be able to see artists in their work environment and see how it’s done.”

Studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free tour directories are available at The Center for the Arts and Booktown Books in Grass Valley and at the Mowen Solinsky Gallery, JJ Jackson’s and Nevada City Picture Framing in Nevada City.

The tour’s Web site offers art images, directions and printable maps at


To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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