For more than three decades, South Bay artists have opened up their workspaces to visitors as part of the Silicon Valley Open Studios (SVOS) event. Like so many other long-standing traditions, last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19. But this year, residents can once again peek inside local artists’ worlds.
This year’s studio tours will take place over two weekends, Sept. 18-19, and Sept. 25-26. At hundreds of locations throughout the South Bay, artists will exhibit their work in their homes or studio space.
Participating artists come from across the region and across the spectrum of artistic mediums, from painting to jewelry to ceramics and mixed media.
Saratoga artist Starr Davis uses various media, including clay monoprints.
“A clay monoprint is a technique combining clay and color,” Davis said in her artist’s statement. “Layers of colored slip are applied to a slab of clay. The image is pressed onto polyester paper with a rolling pin. The result is lively layering.”
Davis will be participating in both weekends of SVOS, at two different studios on Leonard Road.
In response to the pandemic, the event moved online in 2020. Due to the continued demand for virtual event options, Silicon Valley Visual Arts — the nonprofit organization behind the event — will keep the online show and sale going in addition to the in-person event.
“We do have some artists who are not comfortable opening up their homes or their studios, and that’s perfectly understandable,” said Steve Toll, executive director of Silicon Valley Visual Arts. “So, they have the option of doing a virtual show. If they do that, they will have the same support behind them.”
Artists who do choose to exhibit in person will be required to follow county guidelines to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Toll said historically, the majority of the artists have chosen to exhibit outside, so not much will change for attendees in terms of experience.
Saratoga artist Haleh Mahbod is setting up an outdoor studio on Sept. 25-26 at 21334 Tollgate Road.
“I will have more than 50 pieces on display,” Mahbod said. “Inspired by nature, life experiences and travel memories around the world, my colorful abstracts invite you to beautiful, imaginary getaways, distant from the day-to-day busy life.”
Toll said at his Los Altos studio site, where he hosts other artists for the SVOS event, they typically get a couple hundred visitors per day, adding up to as many as 500 visitors just at one site over the course of a weekend.
His studio at 2234 Vineyard Court will be open to visitors during the first weekend of Open Studios. Event hours are Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For a list of participating artists and studio locations, visit https://svos.org.