Open Studio Events: 7 Reasons Why You Should Go

In April, my Open Studio event, affiliated with Fox River Arts Ramble, will span 2 days. If you’ve never been to an artist’s open studio, this is what you can expect at mine. I have a home-based 1200SF studio that is half work space and half display space. I also have 2 rooms on the main floor that function as a gallery space as well. Here are 7 reasons you should attend Open Studio events…

Mays Mayhew with friends at Solo Show Morpo Gallery Chicago IL.jpg

1. Open Studio events like this one are a great way to see how art is made. It is a rare chance to see behind the scenes. There is nothing like experiencing a space first hand to really understand the art. At my event, I will have time-lapse videos showing how my paintings were created. It will be like you were a fly on the wall during the 100 hours it took to create the art. That coupled with the being in the space gives one great context for the actual artwork.

My favorite type of movie has a biographical nature to it. I prefer learning how actual people worked, what their struggles were and how they overcame them to be who they are. I also love watching videos of how things are made. I think it’s fascinating how things, like nails, are made and the factory automation that efficiently produces them.

Artists are inextricably linked to their product, which makes viewing their work space better than seeing a common object (like a nail) mass produced in a video. I love going to open art studios because the process is visible and immediate. Art creation is truly fascinating.

201903 art studio picture blog.jpg

2. You can also see how the studio space is organized. Mine is set up in 3 parts: creating, displaying and storage. I have a playroom for my kids (3 and 5) in my studio as well.

3. Open Studio events are an opportunity to experience art in person. Art must be experienced in person to truly get a sense of its magnitude. Sure, you can see it online, but you won’t be able to walk around it or see it in an actual environment.

4. What’s better, and rarer, is seeing a large body of artwork by one artist. This gives you a unique insight into how they developed as an artist. (At mine, I will have artwork spanning 20 years!) It shows the autobiographical journey of the artist.

5. Unlike visiting a museum, gallery, or seeing art online, Open Studio events give you the opportunity to meet and talk with the artist—ME! (Case in point: You will probably notice I’m shorter in person and you wouldn’t have noticed that online.)

6. Open Studio events are a great place to get another conversation piece for your collection. What better way to add to your collection than to get it from its birthplace? There’s something for every budget. Miniature (4ʺx6ʺ) originals start at $100. Do you have a portrait idea in mind that you want me to do? This event is a great way to ask questions and understand the process.

7. If you are an artist, I hope to inspire you, to exchange ideas, and to get to know you. I look forward to building a community with artists, art lovers, and art patrons.

My studio is one of 40 locations open to the public for the Arts Ramble. https://www.foxriverarts.com/

2019 Fox River Arts Ramble Event Details:

Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th, 10a-5p

Join us for the 2nd Annual Fox River Arts Ramble: a two-day, self-guided arts tour featuring 40 arts-related locations from Aurora to Elgin in 2019.

This event is one of two Open Studio events I do a year. If you can’t attend the Open Studio in April, please save the date for the next one. The event in December is a one-night-only affair.

2012 Pulse art showMays.jpg

My goal is to share my art and creative process with you. I look forward to seeing and meeting you in person!

Have you ever been to an Open Studio event? What was your favorite part about it?