For artists on the Philomath Open Studios Tour, talking about their work and making connections is just as important as selling art during the event.
“A lot of people are there not just to buy art, but to learn how we make it and the process, and that’s a lot of fun,” said mixed media artist Debi Lyn Friedlander.
More than 25 artists will display their work in and around Philomath during the Philomath Open Studios Tour on the weekends of Oct. 21-22 and Oct. 28-29.
The free self-guided tour, which runs from noon-5 p.m., will be held in 11 locations — many of which are the artists’ own studios.
The tour showcases a broad array of art, including paintings, printmaking, ceramics, glass work, mosaics, beadwork, pencil drawings, photography, mixed media and more.
Friedlander’s work will be on display at Lumos Wine Co. 24000 Cardwell Hill Drive, and she hopes to demonstrate how she amplifies images with colored pencils, and sometimes gel pens and markers, using photographs and watercolors as underpaint.
“It’s probably my biggest event of the year,” Friedlander said. “There are more people that come to this than other events that I do.”
This would have been the 20th year for Philomath Open Studios Tour, but the pandemic led to its cancellation in 2020 and 2021, Debby Sundbaum-Sommers, event coordinator, said.
The tour started to raise awareness of artists in the greater Philomath area, added Sundbaum-Sommers.
The public doesn’t think of Philomath as an artsy community, but “There are more artists hidden around here than people realize,” she said. And some local artists show their work in Corvallis, Salem, Eugene and elsewhere.
Painter Kris Mitchell, who likes to work on textured surfaces, thinks the tour has done its job and raised the profile of Philomath as an arts community.
“As artists, we have a tendency to be kind of alone in our work, and we’re secluded from our patrons,” Mitchell said. The Philomath Open Studios Tour brings familiar faces, as many residents go on the event every year it’s held, she added.
Mitchell will be showing her paintings at her home, 32848 Hartless Hill Road, and photographer Phil Coleman’s work also will be on display.
Sundbaum-Sommers will be showing her paintings and prints — and explaining how she creates them — at her home studio, 24108 Highway 20. Ceramics artist Rebecca Arthur will be a guest in Sundbaum-Sommers’ converted garage for the event.
West Albany High School teacher Babette Grunwald’s guest artists at her studio, 30342 Cascara Lane, will be teens from Philomath High School and WAHS.
Locations participating will have distinctive yellow signs with the Philomath Open Studios Tour hand symbol.
An exhibition of work from various Philomath Open Studios Tour artists will be displayed through Oct. 31 at Pegasus Frame Studio & Gallery, 312 SW Madison Ave. in Corvallis.
A sampling of work from Philomath-area artists also will be shown at the Philomath Community Library, 1050 Applegate St., through Oct. 31.
New artists can join the tour only via invitation from a tour artist.
For more information, and for a map with studio locations and artist information, go to PhilomathOpenStudios.com.
Brochures with a map and artist information also are available at the Arts Center, 700 SW Madison Ave. in Corvallis and other galleries throughout the area.