Step into the Artist's World: Studio West Art Tour

Bring home a new favorite piece on a self-guided tour through the creative studios of local artists

Clear some space on your wall and make room on your end tables and countertops because you’ll be bringing home a few new stunning and one-of-a-kind pieces from this year’s Studio West Art Tour that will transform your home and wardrobe. 

Organized by Hopkins Center for the Arts and local artists, the Studio West Art Tour showcases the incredible talents of artists from the western suburbs, including Deephaven, Excelsior, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Hopkins, and St. Louis Park. 

“This is the first year of the Studio West Art Tour,” says Jim Clark, Visual Arts Manager at Hopkins Center for the Arts and participating artist. “It is a reintroduction of the long-running Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour, expanded geographically to include even more local artists and highlight our vibrant and dynamic art world in the western suburbs. We have 24 artists participating in the tour and 10 host sites that patrons can visit on the tour. The Friends of HCA are excited to present Studio West as it is a brand new way for us to support our arts community.”

Each host site is the studio or workspace of one of the artists. Over the two days of the tour, you can visit each site at your own pace and in your own order, meet the artists, see their work, and purchase and take home the pieces you love right from their studio.

“It’s a unique opportunity for tour-goers to explore the creative spaces and peek into the world of the artist. See their studio, their space, and how they work,” shares Jim. “I’ll be one of the host sites on the tour as well, and I’m excited to share my work with a new community, inviting both seasoned art collectors and new art lovers.”

Also sharing the space at Jim’s host site will be painter J Pony Allen and photographer Nicole Houff whose long-standing muse is Barbie. “It’s a unique synchronicity with the new Barbie movie, as Nicole has been working with Barbie for decades, creating custom diorama sets for Barbie, Ken, and their friends. It will be fun for patrons to see her work,” says Jim.

Tour-goers will enjoy a wide range of mediums and subjects, from sculpture, ceramics, and painting to mixed media, photography, and wearable art. 

Mixed media artist Patty Carmody Smith who participated in the original Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour, will also be a host site on this year’s tour. 

Patty shares, “I’m excited to have people back in my studio again and hopefully see some fresh faces and new interest from young collectors around the community. There’s a little bit of magic when people come down into my studio space. The conversations are more intimate than you could have at an art fair, and tour-goers will have a wider selection of my pieces than if they were displayed in a gallery. Coming into the artist’s home, you’ll be able to see their past work and their own art collection from other artists and see how artists decorate their own home!”

While stepping into the world of an artist is a rare treat for both established collectors and those new to the art world, it’s also such a treat for the artists. “Tour-goers need to know how much their visits and purchases are appreciated. These kinds of events do a lot to support our vibrant art community,” says Patty. “We’re thrilled to welcome everyone to our studios. And even if you’re not looking to purchase, I love the wonderful conversations and seeing people enjoy themselves.”

“We will have a downloadable map on our website with all the locations and some images of each artist’s work,” says Jim. “We’ll also have a printed map available at the Hopkins Center for the Arts and a representative there to answer questions. If you stop in, it’s a great opportunity to see our gallery and enjoy the art on display at the Center.” 

Jim continues, “You don’t need to sign up, just pick up or download the map and start the tour! There are wonderful restaurants and breweries throughout the area for tour-goers to take a break between visiting artists.” 

The two-day Studio West Art Tour begins on September 16 from 10am to 6pm and continues through the following day, September 17, from 11am to 5pm. See all participating artists and more information here: www.hopkinsartscenter.com/300/Studio-West-Art-Tour

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