Event Information

Open Studios Art Tour (Santa Cruz County) 2019

Santa Cruz County
, California (West)

Phone: 831.475.9600 x17
Event Dates: 10/5/19 - 10/20/19
Application Deadline: 4/30/19 Midnight PST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 7 (a booth shot is NOT required)

Fee (Application Fee): $40.00


Event Summary
Arts Council Santa Cruz County's Open Studios Art Tour is a self-guided tour open to permanent residents of Santa Cruz County, CA only. The tour showcases artists' studios throughout the county and takes place during the first three weekends of October.

General Information
Welcome to Arts Council Santa Cruz County's Open Studios Art Tour
Open Studios is a self-guided tour that attracts thousands of visitors from near and far who learn about and purchase art straight from the source. Open Studios not only shines a light on the vast variety and sheer talent of visual artists in our community, it also ignites relationships, inspires conversations, and bridges gaps of understanding between art appreciators and creators, establishing connections that extend far beyond the tour.

Now in its 34th year, the Open Studios Art Tour is one of Santa Cruz County’s most anticipated annual art happenings. Each year hundreds of Open Studios artists throughout the county open their creative spaces to the public during the first three weekends of October.

Dates for the 2019 Open Studios Art Tour:
North County ~ October 5th & 6th
South County ~ October 12th & 13th
All County Weekend ~ October 19th & 20th

NORTH County includes Ben Lomond, Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Davenport, Felton, Santa Cruz (city) and Scotts Valley.

SOUTH County includes Aptos, Capitola, Corralitos, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Live Oak, Rio del Mar, Soquel, and Watsonville

Studio Hours 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Artists have the option of opening their studios earlier or closing their studios later than posted hours.

A $40 non-refundable Application Fee is required for your application to be submitted to the jury. If you are between the ages of 18 and 30, we will waive your $40 Application Fee. To receive your discount code, which will be entered at checkout, contact Ann Ostermann, 831-475-9600 17, ann@artscouncilsc.org. The application fee can be paid online with a credit card at checkout, or you can select Payment by Check. Application fee must be received no later than 5pm, Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

A $280 Participation Fee is required for all invited artists. Once invited, we will invoice you for participation fees which are due no later than Friday, June 21, 2019. Preferred payment is by check.

Your $280 participation fee reaps a powerful return on investment including:
  • $20,000+ in print, online and radio ads throughout Santa Cruz County, Silicon Valley and Monterey.
  • A full listing with an image in the Open Studios Artist Guide & App (30,000 free copies distributed & free App on iTunes & GooglePlay).
  • Social media reach through Arts Council Instagram and Facebooks pages, e-blasts, and e-newsletter reaching more than 5,000 people.
  • Four week exhibit of your work in the Preview Exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League.
  • Preparation support for marketing and merchandizing your work.
  • Increased visibility and name recognition.
  • Up to two full weekends to welcome the public to your studio.
  • Dedicated private Facebook page for artists - exchange ideas, seek support and advice

We welcome all artists from emerging to professional. Your body of work should be well developed and demonstrate your competency, proficiency, and skill in your craft. In order to apply, you will need:
  • At least 7 original pieces for the application; minimum of 15 original pieces on hand for the opening day of the tour.
  • High quality photographs of your work (hiring a professional photographer is optimal).
Residency: All applicants and participating artists MUST be permanent residents of Santa Cruz County, California, with proof of residency provided if requested.

Studio Eligibility: An Open Studios site is defined as the artist’s regular workspace and must retain the atmosphere of art-making, with materials, equipment, work-in-progress, and processes visible (does not apply to artists who are being hosted). Any space procured solely for the purpose of participating in Open Studios is not eligible. Spaces converted temporarily into a “studio” for the purpose of participating in Open Studios are not eligible. Retail galleries are not eligible for this event. Artists for whom 3 or more of the following characteristics are true are not eligible for Open Studios:
  • Commercial or retail location.
  • Retail signage.
  • Employees and/or paid apprentices.
  • Majority of retail business is by “drop in” rather than appointment.

The studio address provided in your application will be used to pin your location on the Artist Guide map. You will have an opportunity to review your studio map placement before the Artist Guide goes to print.


If I can’t use my own studio space, can I be HOSTED by another artist in the tour?
The intention of the Open Studios Art Tour is to bring the public into artist’s working studios. However, if your studio is in a remote or inaccessible location, if your location has little or no access to parking, or if your studio cannot be made open to the public during the tour, you can be hosted by another Open Studios artist at their location. Hosted artists must submit a separate application, listing their host’s studio address on the application. If, at the time of application no host has been secured, enter “Need Host Studio” as your address on the application. If the hosting artist is not invited to participate, Arts Council will work with the invited artist to secure a host studio.
Can I host multiple artists at my space?
Yes. This year artists can host as many other Open Studios artists as they can accommodate.

Hosted artists will be supplied with a set of minimum guidelines for sharing their creative process along with their art at their host studio location.

For more information regarding being hosted or hosting an artist at your location, contact Ann Ostermann at 831.475.9600 x17.

If all of the work submitted is collaborative, artists should apply together on one application.

Artists must agree not to exhibit, sell, or host other artists in the space over which they have interest or control. Artists who are not officially participating in Open Studios are asked not to present themselves as Open Studios artists during the tour.

A "reproduction" is defined as a copy of original art. Reproductions for sale may be included in your Open Studios display, with the following restrictions:
  • Original work should be prominent and should be seen first as visitors enter the studio area.
  • Only 20% of an artist's Open Studios DISPLAY SPACE may be allocated to reproductions.
  • Reproductions must be separated from the main body of original work and clearly labeled as reproductions.
  • An explanation of the reproduction process must be posted near the presentation of any reproduction(s). This explanation should serve to educate the public about the distinction between original art and reproductions (e.g. “These are giclée prints (copies) of my oil paintings, printed using archival inks and paper on an inkjet printer”).

Providing the public with an intimate view of the artistic process and your studio set-up is fundamental to the concept of Open Studios. Actual demonstration and works in progress are ideal ways to share your process with visitors. If your process is dangerous or very complex, storyboards, video presentations, or other visual aids may be displayed instead.

You will need 7 lo-res images and 1 hi-res image of original artwork created within the last three years (2016 to the present). We do not require a Booth Shot. Check "No" to the question "Is this your Booth Shot?" when you are adding images to your ZAPP® library.

  • Are your images of seven different, original works of art?
  • Do your images reflect a consistent body of work, with a similarity in style, theme, or visual language?
  • Do your images represent technical proficiency in a single medium?
  • Does your work look as though the same person created it all?
  • Is the quality of each image good? Do they accurately represent your artwork?
  • Has the artwork been photographed with good lighting and no distracting or unflattering elements?
Jurors use the following criteria when scoring each application:
  • Technical Proficiency - The images show expertise in a given medium.
  • Consistent Body of Work - The body of work looks like it was created by the same artist, reflecting their personal creativity and voice.
Your seven images for the online application must be formatted to the specifications listed below. For a complete list of image sizing resources, visit the Help Center on ZAPP® and select the Digital Tutorials and Resources tab.
  1. Recommended dimensions: 1920 pixels on the longest side. To assist artists who do not have images that are 1920 pixels or larger, the system will also accept images that are at least 1400 pixels on the longest side.
  2. File format: Save all images as Baseline Standard JPEG. Do not save as a Progressive JPEG.
  3. File size: JPEGs must be under 5.0 MB.
  4. Color space: Save images in RGB color space, preferably sRGB.

Your Artist Guide image must be formatted to the following specifications:
  • File name:  Name your (.tif) or (.jpg) file with your LAST name followed by your FIRST name.
    1. Lastname.Firstname.tif
    2. Lastname.Firstname.jpg
  • File type: TIFF images (.tif) are preferred; however, JPEG images (.jpg) are acceptable.
  • File format:  CMYK is the preferred format; however, RGB is acceptable.
    • In the edit menu on Photoshop, select color settings; under the "working spaces" selection, set the CMYK setting to "U.S. Sheetfed Coated V2."
    • If you aren't using Photoshop, any setting that has "Coated" or "Sheetfed" in the name will do.
  • File resolution: Must be 300 dpi.
  • File size:  Maximum of 3.5” in either direction.
The Artist Guide image will be uploaded to a dedicated hold site AFTER you have submitted your online application. 

  • The Artist Guide image may be the same as one of the images submitted with your application, but doesn't have to be.
  • The work depicted must have been created within the last three years (2016 to present), be representative of the work submitted with your application, and of the work visitors will see in the studio.
  • The image cannot show a model for jewelry or wearable art.
  • Artists must agree that the image can be used for promotion of the event.
  • Images are shown 6 to a page in the printed Artist Guide.
  • Maximum space for each image is 3.5” wide x 2.75” tall. If you want to take advantage of the most space, choose a horizontal (landscape) image.
  • Images on the page are surrounded by white. 3-D work should be photographed with a grey or colored background rather than white so the work doesn't look like it's "floating" on the page.
  • Choose a colorful image that will stand out when printed in that size.
Some artists like to display their Artist Guide image artwork at the Preview Exhibit, giving the public a chance to view the Artist Guide work of art in person. If so, make sure the artwork meets the Preview Exhibit size guidelines listed in the last section.

Artist Guide images must be uploaded to the designated holding site http://comprinters.com/artupload/ no later than midnight, May 1st, in order for your application to be sent to the jury.  

Please note that your application must be received no later than midnight, April 30th.  There is an additional day given for receipt of the Artist Guide image.

  • Assemblage
  • Basketry
  • Book Arts
  • Ceramics
  • Digital art
  • Drawing
  • Encaustic
  • Fiber Arts/Textiles
  • Furniture
  • Glass
  • Gourd Art
  • Jewelry – Metalsmithing
  • Jewelry – Other
  • Metal Work
  • Mixed Media 2D/Other
  • Mixed Media 3D/Other
  • Mosaic
  • Other
  • Painting
  • Paper Arts
  • Pastel
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Watercolor
  • Woodworking

The 2019 Open Studios Art Tour jury is comprised of seven art professionals:
  • Lauren Baines: Assistant Director, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University
  • Daniel Garcia: Founder, Content Magazine (Silicon Valley centered)
  • Julie Hughes: Installation Artist/Lecturer, Santa Clara University
  • Richard Murai: Assistant Director, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel
  • Angelica Muro: Associate Professor, Visual & Public Art, Cal State Monterey Bay
  • TBD
  • TBD
The panel uses a blind jury process to review each set of images provided by each artist; identities of individual artists are not disclosed to jurors. Materials, dimensions for each image, and your description of materials & techniques are made available to the jury. Although ZAPP® requires the inclusion of cost for each piece of artwork submitted, price information is not provided to the jurors, and is not considered in the jury process.

Jurors will be given the following guidelines to direct their deliberations:
"Arts Council Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios Art Tour showcases art in a broad range of media and styles. The event contributes to public awareness about the quality and diversity of the artists in our community.  Participation in Open Studios is intended for artists producing fine art & fine craft of professional quality. The event is an opportunity to show a body of original artwork that reflects a personal style and vision, and technical proficiency with their medium.

You are being asked to assess whether or not you think an applicant's work is of suitably professional quality to be presented to the public, and is compatible with the philosophy and purpose of Arts Council Santa Cruz County's Open Studios Art Tour.
When jurying for our tour, you will review and score the artwork using a scale of 1-10 applying the following criteria:
  •          Technical Proficiency - The images show expertise in a given medium.
  •          Consistent Body of Work - The body of work looks like it was created by the same artist, reflecting their personal creativity and voice.

Scores from all seven jurors are totaled, then one low score is removed. Using the resulting average score, the committee uses a blind process to review the scores to determine the cut-off for invitation to the tour; identities of individual artists are not disclosed. The burden of the final decision resides with the Arts Council and the Open Studios Committee.


Invitation notifications
Artists will be notified by e-mail the week of May 20th, regarding the status of their application. Notification will be sent via e-mail to the address listed in your ZAPP® Artist Profile.

Open Studios Preparation Workshop
It is highly recommended that first-year Open Studios participants attend this workshop on Wednesday, July 17th. At the workshop, we review guidelines and discuss topics including displaying your art, pricing your art, promoting and selling your work, ways to show your process, sources for art and display materials, and so on.

Preview Exhibit
An exhibit of original work by all Open Studios artists takes place at the Santa Cruz Art League. The exhibit opens the Saturday prior to Open Studios and remains open through the last day of the tour. Each artist is encouraged to submit a piece of original art created within the last three years.
  • Wall-Hung Work: Size limit is 30" MAXIMUM height and width, including mat and frame.
  • 3D work: Size limit is 42" high x 24" wide x 24” deep, including the base; weight not to exceed 50 lbs.
  • All preview exhibit artwork must be for sale.
  • Artwork must be similar to the work submitted with your application.
  • Artwork must be representative of the work visitors will see at your studio.
  • Sales of Preview Exhibit pieces will be handled by the Santa Cruz Art League with a sales commission paid to the Santa Cruz Art League. Members will be charged a 30% commission; non-SCAL members will be charged a 45% commission.
Support leading up to the Tour:
Arts Council provides technical support to artists in the months leading up to the tour including workshops, support documents and monthly e-mails covering a variety of topics – marketing your artwork, pricing your artwork, social media “how-to” and more.

Service Hours
Participating artists are required to perform up to 4 hours of service to the Arts Council. Volunteer jobs take place between June and December. Artists will sign up for volunteer service online (link will be provided to artists after being invited to participate in the tour).

After-event Artist Survey: Participating artists are required to submit an online survey after the tour ends. All information is anonymous and confidential and is used to assess the economic and cultural impact of the Open Studios Art Tour in Santa Cruz County.

For further information including Application Guidelines and FAQs, visit the Open Studios website at http://www.artscouncilsc.org/open-studios/

Booth Information