Biennial event highlights creative spaces

This event comes around only once every two years. Some would say it’s Salida’s signature event, as participants walk away deeply inspired and frequently challenged to try their hand at creating their own masterpieces.

The Salida Studio Tour gets underway once again this weekend, Aug. 12 and 13. The biennial event showcases Salida’s artists and artisans by allowing visitors a behind-the-scenes look into their personal studios. Participants get the chance to watch creations in progress and engage with the artists themselves.

Nineteen studios will be featured in the 2017 tour. This interactive experience fosters local and visiting art lovers’ appreciation and knowledge of the creative process. Because not all the studios are downtown and accessible on foot, participants are encouraged to navigate the tour by car, road bike or taxi. A Salida Studio Tour map is available at SalidaStudioTour.weebly.com or at participating studios.

Photographer Tim Brown’s studio is located inside his downtown gallery at 225 F St., and he’s just one of 22 artists on the tour. His unique tintype portraits created via wet-plate collodion processing is a throwback to an earlier era in Salida, when the development process was first used in the mid-1800s. Step back in time when you enter Brown’s gallery as well – the building was a photography studio in the early 1900s.

A longtime Salida resident and photographer, Brown opened the gallery in 2016, and this will be his first appearance in the studio tour. Brown hopes it will not only generate business but also provide tour participants the opportunity to learn about the wet-plate process. He’ll be taking portrait appointments and selling portrait gift certificates during the tour. He will also have reproductions of original photographs of Salida taken in the early 1900s for sale.

Lisa Fite DeYoung is another artist on the tour. The opportunity to glimpse inside Mountain Mermaid Studios behind her home at 439 W. Second St. (enter the back building via a metal staircase) is a rare treat. DeYoung hasn’t hosted a tour since the inaugural event many years ago. However, she’s taken the studio tours and really enjoyed them. “We have such a great artists’ community here. The tour is a great way to look behind the scenes and peek inside artists’ spaces.”

This year, DeYoung joins the studio tour again to share her love for creative expression with others. “I thought this would be the perfect way to do that. People can give painting or doodling a try in my studio during the tour.” DeYoung described her art as “process work.” She holds intuitive painting nights in her studio, guiding others to let their creativity out to play. She’ll have her published doodling journals for sale during the tour.

The tour is a nonprofit collaborative effort among participating artists and volunteers. Art purchases and financial donations to the studio tour are welcome and encouraged. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit SalidaStudioTour.weebly.com.