One of my favorite Somerville events is the annual Open Studios weekend that takes place each spring. And while the big weekend isn’t until early May, it’s already time for artists who wish to participate in the event to sign up.
Registration began last month and continues through January. Artists working in a variety of mediums are welcome to participate–from painting and pottery to photography and jewelry making, just to name a few. Emerging and established artists are invited to participate. The only requirement is that you are based in Somerville.
While many Somerville artists, such as those working out of the studios at Brickbottom, Joy Street and Vernon Street, have their own spaces in which to show their work, many other local artists do not. Open Studios is able to provide some community space (available to Somerville artists only) at the Armory on Highland Ave.
Somerville artist Courtney Chelo shows her work as Closer to the Ocean at the Armory during the 2012 Open Studios.
There are a series of talks happening throughout the next few months for artists participating in Open Studios. They take place at Artisan’s Asylum (10 Tyler St.) from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The specific details of each talk are as follows:
Jan. 12: Why Do Open Studios? How marketing derives from your interests, goals, etc. Possibilities for beginners, for mature artists with gallery representation, for those who do this as a casual pursuit and for those who have business plans.
Feb 9: Engaging the Public. How to go about engaging the public to come see your work: creating or improving a mailing list, “segmenting markets” and a bit on the technical logistics of this–from organizing your list in some form to using an email marketing service to physical mailings or flyers; and how to coordinate this with the work of Somerville Open Studios.
March 9: Attracting Key People. How to get a few special people to your studio; e.g., existing clients, press, galleries, etc.
April 6: Exhibiting as a Function of Marketing. The many ways of making it easy for people to access and engage with your work: culling, curating, lighting, explaining, layout, display and organization.
In addition to the artists who participate in Open Studios, there is also a need for volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Open Studios is looking for people interested in postering, map book distribution, sponsorship sales, public outreach and various administrative tasks.
P.S. You can read all of the Beat’s coverage of last year’s Open Studios here.