The Mount Si Artist Guild’s Open Studio is beginning its fourth year of operation with new plans.
The open studio event is a free, public gathering of artists at the Art Gallery of SnoValley on Railroad Avenue in Snoqualmie. Open studios are held every Thursday, except when they overlap with holidays.
Mount Si Artist Guild member Pam Whittington said the social events were started to drive more artistic engagement with the community. During an open studio, anyone can participate and work on their own artwork in a shared space. The doors are left open, so visitors walking by can see the artists in action.
Artists can often end up feeling isolated, Whittington said, so the studio gives them a chance to talk and work with their peers. The artist guild is also open to new members, and artists who have come to the socials in the past have become members in previous years.
This new year is also the start of a new program for the social events. The Art Gallery is starting an artists lending library to spread resources to promote learning from the community.
“A lot of us are donating books,” Whittington said. “Artists can come in and check out books or take magazines for referrals. It’s something new we are starting for 2019.”
The Art Gallery also is planning for its first “Paint and Party” workshop on Feb. 9. The group will work on a winter scene in watercolor. Sally Rackets, Mount Si Artist Guild member, said the workshop would be taught by fellow member Charlene Burley and is a great opportunity for beginners to try their hands at watercolor and walk away with their own paintings.
In 2019, The Art Gallery also is planning to increase its scholarships. In 2018, they gave a $500 scholarship to a Mount Si High School student artist, and this year they are working on a plan to increase the scholarship amount, but have not yet announced the final 2019 total.
The museum also refreshed its displayed art on Jan. 7. Whittington said the museum cycles in new local and guest artwork every other month.
The collaboration between the art community and Valley businesses also will continue with the Friday Art and Wine Walks.