Over Labor Day weekend, more than thirty art studios from Santa Barbara to Buellton will be featured in Santa Barbara Studio Artists’ 18th Annual Open Studios Tour. From August 31 to September 2, local art aficionados will have the opportunity to not only view the finished works of local artists in their galleries, but their works-in-progress as well. According to a press release, every year the tour not only attracts regional art collectors, but national and international collectors as well.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.
Among the participants will be landscape artist Richard Schloss, who is looking forward to once again taking part in the tour. Though he said he has participated before, it will be the first time the tour moves through his gallery located in Arlington Plaza at 1324 State St., which will also host the tour’s opening reception on August 30.
Mr. Schloss specializes in layered landscape paintings and upon stepping into his gallery, one is very likely to recognize the locations depicted in his work. He began painting in 1972 while attending UCSB and as he explained, “never really left.” Therefore, the majority of his paintings are of different places in Santa Barbara.
“Santa Barbara and painting kind of go together for me,” he said.
For those who aren’t artists, Mr. Schloss expects the tour will be an eye-opening experience that will reveal certain aspects of art beyond the finished product. These aspects include the unique setting in which each featured artist operates, as well as the creative process they engage in within that space. He also hopes attendees will walk away with an appreciation for how much time and effort it takes to create a work of art, and realize that it can be cultivated like any other skill.
“People see painting sand they think, ‘Oh, that guy’s so talented,’ it’s like it was something you were born with… I think there is a particular way of looking at the world that an artist is born with, but it’s years and years and years of work,” he said.
During the tour, attendees will not only get to see finished art pieces and the artist’s workspaces, but will also get to see them hard at work. Yuliya Lennon, whose studio and gallery filled with multi-technique paintings will be featured in the tour for the first time, anticipates this will allow viewers to not only witness the artistic process, but the artistic techniques that come from utilizing unorthodox materials.
“I use some unique materials like lavender oil spike, which smells like lavender. It makes oils like watercolor, so it’s a very different technique… So I suppose that’s what people like to see,” she said.
For first-time tour participant Colette Cosentino, she hopes those who come by her studio and gallery during the tour feel the emotional tranquility she aims to convey through her work. A creator of hand-painted, decorative wall coverings, Ms. Cosentino paints abstract seascapes and cloudscapes. Because many of her pieces are meant for the purpose of covering the walls of one’s home, they are also meant to make one feel calm and relaxed.
“I want people to make homes their sanctuaries, a place of retreat and calm. So the work I create tends to be ethereal, calm… I want people when they look at my work to feel that,” she said. The 18th Annual Open Studios Tour will kick off on August 30 with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 1325 State St., Suite J. The tour will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 31 and September 1, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 2. Tickets can be purchased at www.stantabarbarastudioartists.com.