See local artists in-person during Edmonds Art Studio Tour 2021 Sunday

The annual in-person Edmonds Art Studio Tour was presented only virtually a year ago due to the pandemic and was sorely missed. This year, the free self-guided event will continue from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19. Its roster of 35 artists promises to be as exciting as those of previous years, if not more so.

The weekend-long Art Studio Tour seeks to increase both the visibility and the awareness of the Arts in Edmonds, through the work of the many diverse and talented artists whose very presence helps make the town so special.

This opportunity to visit the artists’ private workspaces, which are not usually open to the public, affords an intimate insider’s view of how they live and work within their own special world. The artists chosen to participate are deeply connected to the Edmonds community. During the tour, the artists will not only feature their own work but also will be eager to discuss their creative processes. Several of them will be demonstrating their methods and practices.

Art is especially vital to the times we have been living in this past year and a half. Those who create art, as well as those who feel a deep connection with it, can reap the healing benefits of painting, sculpture and the myriad of other artistic facets to be found among the participating artists.

According to longtime Arts Studio chair, landscape painter Andy Eccleshall (Studio 17), the unique tour showcasing the artists’ works will include displays and demonstrations of painting, pottery, photography, jewelry, glass, ceramics, mixed media, printmaking and encaustics, or hot wax painting. Many of these artists are inspired by their gardens — in Eccleshall’s case, one designed by his landscape expert wife, Ingrid.

Andy Eccelshall in wife Ingrid’s garden Saturday.

“This is a chance to meet and talk with the artists in person, to ask questions about their work and techniques and purchase work directly from the studio,” Eccleshall says.

Andy Eccleshall at his home studio Saturday.

Eccleshall, a fixture in this event over the past several years, feels thrilled to be able to open the studios again this year. He also is excited about a new exhibit of his own works that will open at the Cole Gallery in downtown Edmonds in December. The new collection, which is still in process, will be available for viewing during the tour.

Andy Eccleshall: Unfinished, La Push

“Several of the pieces are close to completion but there’s an opportunity to see other pieces in their very early stages,” he says. “I’ll also have framed paintings for sale and a few older pieces at reduced prices.”

Shukshan Mountain by Andy Eccleshall

The landscape painter is stepping down after several years as chair of the event. “It’s been an absolute honor to work with such a dedicated and enthusiastic committee,” he says of the entirely volunteer-led event. “The event only happens with the hard year-long work of everyone involved.”

At the age of 81, Darlene Lucas (Studio 20) has looked to painting not only to express her creativity, but also to provide healing in stressful circumstances. “During Covid, I just kept painting and painting,” she says. She even wore a dress-painting to greet her visitors.
Joyful Art Studio (19) is the communal creative space for Sue Robertson (Acrylic and Mixed Media Paintings), Meredith Arnold (Mixed Media & Jewelry), and Janis Graves (Pastels and Oils). The three artists’ whimsical garden greets visitors as they arrive.
In the studio, Meredith Arnold  displays her jewelry art in a uniquely playful way: attached to bird cages.
Meredith Arnold
Sue Robertson  is gratified at the great turnout so far for the tour, including several other artists and young people. She also enjoys experimenting.
Sue Robertson’s paintings on raw canvas would look equally engaging on a wall or as placemats.
Janis Graves works with color in a distinctive way. Her canvases seem to jump right off the wall. And her food art is zero calories!

Sue Coccia, of Earth Art (Studio 21), offered her own perspective on participating in the event. “I never thought opening up my home and studio could be so much fun for me, and the patrons!” Coccia declares. “I’ve found people are fascinated by artists’ homes, which may be a bit eccentric—like mine!”

The colorful elephant painting that greets people as they walk into Sue Coccia’s house  shows a deep love and connection to animals and wildlife, as do her other paintings, animal-printed t-shirts, blankets, mugs, and more.

Coccia enjoys the difference in feeling between a gallery or art show and home visits to the studio by the public.

“Normally at a gallery or art show it feels formal. In our home, I am more comfortable to share how I work, and to share upcoming projects,” says Coccia. “One year during a tour, I found a woman taking photos of our bathroom. That made me happy.”

Sunflowers in Sue Coccia’s front yard.

Coccia is super excited about every aspect of the tour. This year, she says, “Our front yard is sporting weirdly tall sunflowers!” When asked if the unusual sunflowers are part of the tour, she replied, “They should be—Nature’s Art!”

“Nature’s Art” perfectly describes much of what visitors will see during this iconic event. That, and the unique collective creativity of the community of artists that Edmonds is so fortunate to have, makes this event a must see. There is still time to see the artists’ studios, as they will again be open Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The event is made possible by the support of the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation and the Edmonds Arts Commission Tourism Promotion fund through the City of Edmonds Lodging Tax fund, plus the generous advertisers named in the studio tour brochure: www.edmondsartstudiotour.com/supportersandadvertisers.

Full details and a listing of the 35 artists and 21 studios featured on the tour can be found on the home page at www.edmondsartstudiotour.com. The tour map can be downloaded here.

COVID safety precautions will be respected, and masks are required while visiting the studios.

— Story and photos by Erica Miner

2 Replies to “See local artists in-person during Edmonds Art Studio Tour 2021 Sunday”

  1. Thank you for visiting our studios on the tour, Erica! It’s always wonderful to connect with people, talk about art and creative endeavors and share what we do. I’m looking forward to checking out your mysteries, too!

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    1. You’re most welcome, Meredith! It was so much fun chatting to you all and seeing your amazing work. I look forward to talking more about art, books and other wonderful creations!

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