The mission of Open Studios is to advance and enrich the visual arts and promote the role of artists in the Boulder Community. Our organization fulfills this mission through six different programs: The Open Studios Tour, The Boulder Plein Air Festival, EdLinks Art Education, Mobile Art Lab, Community Public Art Program and The POP! Gallery.
The in-person Studio Tour returns this year and we will continue to offer the newer, very popular Membership Program. The Studio Tour, our flagship event, was created in 1995. The Tour is an exciting 3-weekend-long event with a festival-like atmosphere. In recent years, the Tour has attracted about 8,000 patrons from our region and beyond. These patrons visit multiple studios, meet artists, buy art, learn about their art-making practices and form lasting relationships with the artists. Our annual Membership Program provides activities and benefits for artists to promote their art, engage with the public and hone their skills in the business of the arts.
Created in 2017, the Boulder Plein Air Festival strengthens the national reputation of our area as an arts destination. Plein Air artists from around the country apply to participate. Those selected by jury process come to paint and compete for notoriety, cash rewards and the opportunity to market and sell the art produced during the festival week.
For 2021 we are hosting a new, inclusive plein air event, open to any artist from Colorado, age 15 and older, and to alumni of Open Studios’ past Boulder Plein Air Festivals.
Education Links – EdLinks – is an Open Studios program that matches Boulder Valley School District K-12 art teachers with professional, local artists for classroom instruction, projects, presentations, and demonstrations at no cost to the school. EdLinks funds artists' time spent in the classroom plus a stipend for art supplies. EdLinks has served BVSD middle and high schools for years, and this past year we have also expanded into Title One elementary schools.
Our Public Art program works with other local organizations to bring murals and other art to life in popular public spaces and in neighborhoods around Boulder.
POP! Gallery is a program of Open Studios. Using temporary spaces during the summer and holiday months, POP! gives local artists a retail opportunity to advance their careers and an opportunity for the public to see and purchase art by Boulder County artists.
The Mobile Art Lab appears at festivals, fairs and even birthday parties, providing materials, guidance and process-based teaching to encourage children and adults to discover the creative artist within. In collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners, the Lab facilitates art-based community-building projects in Boulder’s under-served neighborhoods.