Over the last several days, I've been preparing for our spring Studio Stroll. This is an even that happens this weekend in Asheville's River Arts District and also in the fall and is immensely popular (mostly with locals who spend this time checking in with all their favorite artists).
"What's a Studio Stroll?"
It used to be the studio stroll meant that for two weekends every year, all the art studios were open to the public and could be visited by, well, by anybody. I don't know how long it went along like that but eventually, some enterprising artist decided to open their art studio to the general public more often than just twice a year, and guess what? People visited their studios. Eventually, artists began to adopt the "open studio" business model and banded together and started advertising that they were here and open to visitors. And so nowadays, people can visit over 200 artists within about a one square mile area and have a good chance of walking in on some artwork actually in the process of being worked on. And because Asheville became known for this business model, I can make a living here doing artwork and greeting visitors from literally all over the country (and other countries).
So what is the studio stroll like for an artist? That kind of depends on the artist. I love it but it's really exhausting. Imagine being asked by about 2000 people throughout the two days, "hey, why are these paintings so shiny?" "How do you do this?" "Do you really make a living just doing this?" (I love that last question! Ha!) It's honestly great fun talking to so many people who are visiting our studios because they love artwork (so we have something in common right from the start).
The first couple studio strolls I did I just sat there all day long and greeted people, but not doing anything but sitting there was unbearably boring, so...now I have several canvases ready for the aluminum leaf application (people like watching that) and I will be working on my "Big Mama" 8' x 10' painting when I get tired of the aluminum application.
So if you're in Asheville or close-ish, please know you're invited by all 200+ artists to pay us a visit. There are free trolleys both Saturday and Sunday. We're ready for you.