Artists open studios for ARTour

By Katrina Veit ·


On the Beach | Heidi Reeves

Have you ever stared at an object of art — a painting, a photograph, a sculpture — and wondered how the artist came to create such a treasure? Then you are a prime candidate for ARTour 2015, a free, self-guided tour of local artists’ studios and workshops from Truckee to Tahoe City, Kings Beach and Incline Village. In its 22nd year, this tenacious event of North Tahoe Arts is changing ever so slightly: the date has been moved from July to Sept. 4, 5, 6 and 11, 12, 13.

“We’ve been talking about moving ARTour to September for the last few years,” explains Pam Sutton, coordinator of ARTour 2015 and president of North Tahoe Art’s board of directors. “Traffic in July in North Tahoe is horrendous and just getting more crowded, it seems. Some artists were frustrated because tour participants were having trouble getting to their studios. In September, there are less crowds and cooler weather. So we thought we would give it a try.”

Sutton says she has noticed a trend, particularly in the West, to host art events in September, making it the month of art.

“Art lovers tend to be mostly retired folks or empty-nesters who have time to take off, but who do not want to fight traffic and crowds,” she says.

All Dressed Up | Jenny Antonucci

The ARTour 2015 booklet, available at North Tahoe Arts in Tahoe City or online at, lists the 22 artists in 13 locations, with maps and addresses. Make a morning of it, visiting the artists in Incline Village then have lunch at an Incline eatery or bring a picnic basket and sit by the lake. Finish up the afternoon touring the studios in Kings Beach and be home or back to the hotel by dinnertime. There’s no need to rush. You have six days, over two weeks to visit every artist on the tour.

Sierra Seasons Summer | Eva Nichols

Many art mediums are represented including ceramics, mixed media, glass, watercolors, painting and photography. There are past ARTour participants, such as Catherine Strand with kiln-formed glass and Jenny Antonucci with pastels and watercolors, and there are first-timers, such as Florence Stronk with oil paintings and Amanda Dabel and Anthony Marrone with ceramic art and mixed media. Sutton says Dabel and Marrone are the youngest artists on the tour, which she is excited about. North Tahoe Arts has been actively trying to increase and diversify its membership.

“We also have Matt Dodge in Incline Village for the first time this year,” Sutton says. “He told us if we ever moved the date to September, he would be interested.” Dodge, who offers his sculptured photographs this year, was usually not around in July.

Another tweak to this year’s ARTour is collaboration with Trails & Vistas art hikes, set for Sept. 12 at Spooner Lake and Sept. 19 at Donner Summit.

“Trails & Vistas is a great program in the community. NTA saw an opportunity to collaborate last year when Trails & Vistas was highlighted in the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s September is Art Month in Tahoe campaign. Moving ARTour to September gave us the opportunity to partner with them,” Cutler explains.

One way they are collaborating is a two-workshop on Sept. 9 and 10 where community members are invited to make an installation with artist Jane Jenny that will be used on the art hike at Spooner Lake. (See Arts in this issue for details on how to participate.)

According to Nancy Tieken Lopez, founder and artistic director of Trails & Vistas, the installation will give the community and participants on the art hikes an opportunity to see how you can work creatively with the environment.

She says that “putting complimentary events together helps promote each other’s organizations and builds on each other’s successes.”

Sutton agrees: “There are so many ways to reach out to people and to benefit collaboratively.” Such as the Treasure Hunt sponsored by both groups, which offers two, free prize drawings on Sept. 7 and 14. When you are at an artist’s studio on ARTour, fill out a card and drop it in a bag provided, for the chance to win two tickets to Trails & Vistas World Concert at Sand Harbor on Sept. 12; two tickets to Trails & Vistas art hike on Sept. 19; a $75 gift certificate to NTA’s ARTisan Gift Shop or a free, one-year membership to NTA and a tote bag.

If you can’t make the ARTour this year, there will be work from the participating artists on display at North Tahoe Arts galleries through Sept. 28. An artists’ reception at North Tahoe Arts on Sept. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Truckee River | Loreen Thomas

For more information, call (530) 581-2787 or visit