By Susan Gallacher-Turner

Today’s  the deadline to apply for Portland Open Studios.  You don’t want to miss out on the chance to show your work and tell visitors about your process in your own studio. You’ll get the opportunity sell your work, build a mailing list, set up workshops and meet people interested in your art from all over the city and country.

As an artist, here’s what other artists say about their Portland Open Studios experience.

Opportunities from Portland Open Studios:

“I received numerous requests to teach a printmaking workshop. I also sold a number of framed and unframed prints.”  Shawn Demarest

“I was picked up by a downtown gallery after he visited my studio during the POS tour and faithfully and religiously showcased my artwork in his gallery for years until finally shutting the door.  And I have received several commission assignments following visitors to my studio during Portland Open Studios tour.” Allen Schmertzler

“I have become very comfortable with demonstrating thanks to having POS as a reason to do it and have been asked to show techniques and teach as a result.” Deb Marble

“Participation in Portland Open Studios over three years has resulted in new connections and sales, multiple invitations to participate in shows, articles in Boom, Oregonian, Oregon Home, and several stories on the Portland Open Studios blog. But the best part has been in new friendships with other artists and the confidence I’ve gained in talking about my work.” Shelley Hershberger

Demonstrating for Portland Open Studios:

“I printed a number of copper-plate etchings. This involved inking the plates, and running them through the press. A number of them involved multiple plates. Shawn Demarest

“I tried painting one year and it was impossible to keep acrylic wet and applicable as well as interact so I shifted one year to a live model to demonstrate the sketching and drawing applications of my process. This was very popular. Many people sat and watched, my model was costumed ( mostly in private studio modeling time in the nude ) and this on the site drama resulted in a handful of sales of the work popping off of the drawing board. But, I found it very hard to interact with the public as I was working, and, after paying my model for the 2 days, it turned into a debit experience.  Now, I do quick caricature demos from photo files of famous people and this has worked an efficient, educational, and happy balance for the event. The public loves that magic in caricatures. This year it was Jay Leno looking over David Letterman on a motorcycle while a hot babe was wrapped around Letterman ( following of course his “sex” scandal ).” Allen Schmertzler

“I enjoy figure drawing and have some unusual tools that I combine with standard watercolor equipment. I work rapidly by choice and often do a “finished” piece in 10 minutes or so.” Deb Marble

“I have demonstrated various techniques involved in printmaking. For me, having others in the studio (whom I was teaching) has been the easiest way to do spontaneous demonstrations of immediate interest to visitors. Participating in Portland Open Studios is a multi-tasking marathon: I have learned how to host, talk, listen, demonstrate, gather names, and make sales all at the same time.” Shelley Hershberger

Studio location:

My printmaking studio, Bite Studio, is located in inner SE Portland. The location worked very well as it is easy to find, and parking isn’t a problem.” Shawn Demarest

“Traffic to my studio has been strong despite the more obscure location in the southwest-terwilliger hills-curves neighborhood. Given the proximity to Multnomah Village, which has a good density of artists in the area, I benefit from that relationship. The 2009 tour was definitely down in attendance. Why? Perhaps after being on the tour for 7 years a sort of fatigue and over-exposure has occurred and or the horrible economy played an unfortunate hand, or some other spurious correlation was at work?” Allen Schmertzler

“My studio is over my garage, accessed by a staircase. Obviously not appropriate for disabled people, otherwise fine. Not being inside my house helps, less of a problem for family or for security concerns. We do have “stuff” in the garage–fishing and sport equipment, tools–the very first time I hung a sheet to cover all that but have never bothered again. Such nice people come on an art tour!” Deb Marble

“My studio is in Portsmouth (North Portland). Proximity to other participating artists created a cluster that definitely helped draw a crowd. If your studio is isolated, encourage other artists nearby to participate for everyone’s benefit.” Shelley Hershberger

Remember today is the deadline…March 15th!

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