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Open-Studio Tour Schedule

[whitespace] AS A RECORD number of west county artists (69 of them in all) await the fifth annual Art at the Source open- studio tour, sponsored by the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, they might be reflecting on the benefits of opening their private studio doors, just once each year, to an eager and curious public. It's an issue that artist Patrick Fanning has considered for some time, and he has identified the best reason to invite strangers into his workspace.

"This is the one time of the year that my studio gets really cleaned up," he says. "It's like having your mom over to dinner. You suddenly feel the desire to spruce things up."

No shirker in this regard, Fanning has installed a new tile floor in his studio, just for this occasion. "I've even raked the gravel walkway," he adds.

Fanning is not alone. Across the most picturesque portions of Sonoma County, his 68 fellow painters, sculptors, artisans, and craftspeople are similarly occupied, tidying up their studios--be they located in lofts, chicken coops, back rooms, or barns--in anticipation of the throngs of guests who will be dropping in during the open-studio weekend, June 5 and 6, to peek around, catch of glimpse of how the artists work and live, and maybe even buy something. All manner of art will be for sale during the increasingly popular self-guided event, from oil paintings and sculptures and watercolors to jewelry and pottery and stuffed animals and hats.

Such events provide a valuable experience to an appreciative public, who are happy to get up close and personal to the creative people whose work enriches our lives--and the feeling is clearly mutual.

"It's great for an artist to have this opportunity," says Fanning, "because it reminds you, 'Hey, I'm a real artist. I must be a real artist, because I'm opening my doors to people who want to see what I've been up to in here. I'm on display, I'm open for business.'"


For more information about the Art at the Source event on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6, or to find out where to pick up a map and tour listing, along with a copy of the brochure "How to Buy Real Art from a Real Artist," call the Sebastopol Center for the Arts at 829-4797.

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From the May 27-June 2, 1999 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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