A Look at the Upcoming Washington County Open Studios Tour

Wood art by Les Dougherty

‘Tis the season for Open Studios tours — the tradition of artists opening their doors to the public has long been a staple event to allow conversation and engagement with communities nationwide, and Washington County is no exception. This year, the annual Washington County Open Studios Tour takes place on October 21 and 22.

Running simultaneously as the Portland Open Studios Tour, the Washington County Art Alliance welcomes visual art enthusiasts far and wide to encourage creativity. From West Portland to Forest Grove, North Plains to Sherwood, there is a studio near you to stop by for a great story and shared enthusiasm about art making. Check out the interactive map they have this year!

Acrylic painting by Helvi Smith

The event has grown since 2010, when they started their inaugural tour weekend with 17 participating artists. Now in their 8th year, (aged eight like Ramona Quimby, as they quip), the Arts Alliance brings you over 40 participating artists and four galleries to choose from. Wonderfully, some artists can be found at the same location – such as husband/wife duos Tim & Joyce Gabriel and Chris & Merry Goldthorpe, as well as partners in art (but not crime) Susan Curington & Les Dougherty, Peg Falconer & Emma Weber, and Penny Forrest & Helvi Smith.

Wondering what kind of art, artist, or creative art making process is compelling enough to get you to drive out to Gaston, Tigard, or North Plains? Take your pick, virtually every kind of visual art is represented by the wonderful artists in a neighborhood near (or not so near) you:


Tim Gabriel, blacksmith, in his metal working studio
  • acrylic painting
  • book arts
  • calligraphy
  • ceramics
  • collage
  • encaustic
  • fiber art
  • glass art: kiln formed, sand-carved, fused
  • letterpress
  • mixed media
  • oil painting
  • pastels
  • pen and ink
  • photography
  • printmaking
  • silk painting
  • wood carving
  • there’s even art in botanical medium!

So don’t miss your shot to snag some one of a kind holiday gifts, learn about the process and production of working artists in the area, and spend your fall weekend touring the countryside to corners not often charted. The 8th annual Washington County Open Studios Tour runs Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 from 11 am – 5 pm both days. Pick up your free guide at the Walters Cultural Arts Center, businesses throughout Main Street, or at any of the participating locations.

Washington County Open Studios Tour
Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22
11 am – 5 pm
See more and plan your tour at washcoart.org.
**many locations are ADA accessible — noted on each artist description.

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