November 2022
Get set for the Clark County Open Studios this weekend and discover the artists among us. Welcome to November!

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Advancing the arts
Clark County Open Studios tour set for November 5-6
The Clark County Open Studios Tour is back on the calendar for this fall, Saturday and Sunday, November 5-6. Now in its ninth year, the free self-guided tour continues to build connections as local artists open their studio doors to inquisitive visitors from near and far.

Open Studios is an annual juried art event designed to enhance community awareness of talented local artists while enriching the cultural life of Clark County neighborhoods. “We invite the community to step into the artist’s world and be inspired by the process of creativity. You’ll find inspiration, connect with others, and learn first-hand about painting techniques, printmaking, sculpture, glass, ceramic, jewelry, fiber arts, photography, and much more,” says Jennifer Williams, Open Studios Director.
How to take the tour

View the online artists’ directory to plan which artists you’d like to visit. Use the category filter to find: mediums, wheelchair-accessible studios,
available classes, video demos, and the latest updates.

During the two-day tour, use your mobile device to access a user-friendly
interactive google map showing all studio locations.
Remember the tour is free and self-guided. One great way to take the tour
is to start right in your own neighborhood. Check the map to find the closest studio and start there. Who knows? You might discover your neighbor is an artist!

The intent of the tour isn't to visit all 50 artists (though it has been done!)
but to select the artists you'd most like to see. You can just keep clicking
the next red dot on the Google map and see where it takes you! One of the
great things about Open Studios is that it's not only a tour of artists' studios
but it's also a way of discovering areas of the County you may not have
known about. Along your way, you'll see Open Studios yard signs to guide
you to each studio location.

The printed guides are back

The printed tour guides are back this year if you prefer to have something in hand! Pick one up from one of the following local sponsors; Art at the
studio location during the tour.
Artists' stories and behind the scene details are the heart of the tour
Artist Larry Holt
The art and the studios where the creative process happens are as diverse
as the artists themselves. This year's tour features multiple farm studios, including father-and-daughter studios in a historic barn in Vancouver, a sheep farm in Ridgefield, an Alpaca farm in Camas, and an organic garden in Fern Prairie.

Driving around the county and exploring creative places can be a fun experience, but tour-goers will find it’s the artists' stories and the details
behind the scenes that are the heart of Open Studios. Visitors will have the
opportunity to ask questions and learn how the artists’ careers began, how they craft their work, what drives them to create, and how they make a living as an artist. Each year, the event showcases a wide range of art
mediums and a diverse mix of artists.

Two artists new to Open Studios are potter-painter-photographer Jessica Joner and her metal sculptor dad Larry Holt. Joner, mother of four and a recent BFA graduate from Portland State University, says she draws inspiration for her art from her own personal life story. Her ceramic works are as elegant as her paintings are intriguing and evocative. 

Alongside Joner’s studio is a renovated historic barn that serves as Holt’s welding studio. He is a self-taught artist whose craft sprung from his career experience as a precision welder. In addition to metal sculpting, Holt’s interests include constructing industrial furniture, digital photography, and jewelry making. This single stop along the Open Studios Tour between Felida and Salmon Creek offers visitors a view into two different artists’ worlds in one very creative family.

A new participant in Open Studios is Richard Britschgi, whose work is in an entirely unique medium. After retiring in 2015, Britschgi picked up a hobby of tumbling and polishing rocks. He transformed his garage into a lapidary shop with all the equipment to cut, grind, shape, and polish rocks. While most lapidaries cut slabs to polish or sell to jewelry artists, Britschgi takes it a step further to create animals, mushrooms, and insects. His art is one of a kind and he loves to watch people's expressions when they first see his work.

Jungmoo Ahn returns to the tour and will be sharing the technique of traditional Korean landscape painting he has been practicing for over fifty years. It differs significantly from the Western tradition of painting in that once a brushstroke has been executed, it cannot be painted over. Ahn explains how each stroke carries with it the artist's emotions and he strives to create paintings that move and breathe with the life force inherent in the landscape, reflecting beauty, goodness, and truth within a natural world in flux.

For artist Sharon Agnor, manipulating steel, bronze, and glass from basic
elements into meaningful forms is a therapeutic and spiritual process, but
the story behind the work goes much deeper. After a decade of grief, loss, and personal growth, her focus shifted from pure aesthetics to symbolic
forms. Her complex and thoughtful work acknowledges the pain we conceal, hoping we may find comfort from those around us.
Sharon Agnor in her studio.
Clark County Open Studios is a program of the nonprofit, Artstra, and
is made possible in part by assistance from the City of Vancouver, Washington Lodging Tax Grant Program. Additional funding is provided by
artist application and participation fees, our local business sponsors, and
volunteer and community support.
First Friday Pick
Clark County Open Studios Preview Exhibition
Art at the Cave
Get a sneak peek!
Get an advanced look at examples of work from each artist in this weekend's Open Studios Tour. You'll be able to see the work of 50 artists and artisans all in one place and in person. So please join us at the preview exhibition this First Friday. Once again, Art at the Cave has graciously provided the venue, and the show will be on display through the month of November.

Open Studios Tour Preview Exhibition
4–8 p.m., First Friday, November 4

108 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver
Our all-volunteer organization works toward building greater arts awareness, rewarding creative excellence, and expanding arts accessibility. We are working to facilitate long-term arts development for Southwest Washington. We envision a stronger arts infrastructure that includes an art center and a community-focused performing arts facility. 

Your support will help to make this vision a reality. Artstra's current programs include our annual Clark County Open Studios Tour and Poetry Moves, a collaborative effort that features the words of local poets on C-Tran buses. Both of these programs have already demonstrated the power of art in our lives to connect us, transform us, and fuel the economy.
Five ways to support the cause
If you love what Artstra is doing for our community, please consider the different ways that you can contribute.

1- Donate
Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to Artstra. 
2- Declutter
Give useable items to Nifty and Thrifty at 6607 E. Mill Plain Blvd. And when those items sell, the money is split 50/50 with participating nonprofits. Just let them know your items are donated to benefit Artstra. 
3- Shop 
Link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Artstra using our code #84120. Just by using your rewards card number, and at no cost to you, every time you shop you'll help Artstra earn a quarterly donation from Fred Meyer.
4- Shop online 
Use this link to login to Amazon, and they will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase back to Artstra.
5- Volunteer 
Artstra is an all-volunteer organization. If you have specialized skills, especially in fundraising, outreach and marketing, we'd love to talk with you.
ARTS brief team
Cam Suttles, editor, designer 
Editorial Policy and submission guidelines
ARTS brief is intended to be useful to readers by offering a curated selection of stories and announcements related to the growth of arts in our region. Submitted items should be newsworthy. This means that arts-related items for content consideration must perform well in at least two of the following five areas: timing, significance, proximity, prominence, and human interest. Please submit materials to artsbrief@artstra.orgno later than the 25th of each month. Note that submission does not guarantee publication. We evaluate each submission to determine how it fits our goals for ARTS brief and whether the item under consideration aligns with the mission and vision of Artstra. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Artstra
Artstra is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization advocating for the arts in Clark County and southwest Washington. We envision a vibrant arts economy in our region, north of the Columbia River, with public/private investments and facilities that sustain artists and enrich community. Our mission is to elevate the arts, build greater arts awareness, reward creative excellence, and expand arts accessibility.