Studio art tour kicks off Friday

This weekend, local artists will draw back the curtains and let visitors go behind the scenes to see how a wide spectrum of art is created, from photographs to paintings, prints and stained glass.

The Gainesville Fine Arts Association (GFAA) artist studio tour starts Friday from 5-9 p.m. in select studios. It continues on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors can meet 20 artists at 14 studios in any order on the self-guided tour. Studios are scattered across Gainesville, as far west as Tower Road and spreading east into downtown.

The studio tours are free with 100 percent of purchase dollars going to the artists.

Deb and Wes Lindberg, directors of the GFAA artist studio tour, also participate as artists. Wes Lindberg said the studio tour provides a unique opportunity for visitors and motivation for artists.

“You get to actually go in their studios and actually see how they work and where they work and see where their inspiration comes from,” he said. “It’s just such a unique opportunity that’s pretty rare.”

Brochures with maps and information about the artists are available at every studio, and the studio tour website provides maps, sneak peek videos and short bios of the artists, allowing visitors to tailor the tour to their interests.

Lindberg hopes the studio tours will inspire more artists. Many times, he said, parents prod their children toward a career as an architect or dentist instead of their passion for art.

“I’d like to see more young adults coming out to see that you can make a living at art and this is the way it can be done,” Lindberg said.

In 2018, about 1,500 people attended the studio tour event, and artist sales in 2019 topped $8,000.

Lindberg said more artists wanted to participate in the tour than it could handle, forcing them to create a waitlist.

And because the pandemic canceled the 2020 studio tour along with other art shows, this year’s studio tour means even more.

“When you don’t have an art show for over a year, your inspiration can kind of wane,” Lindberg said.

But events like studio tours and art shows incentivize artists.

“So a lot of artists then produce a lot of work,” Lindberg said. “They get this creative jolt.”

He said no matter what happens with the studio tour, it was an opportunity to get inspired and also inspire others―his lifelong goal.

“I’m just excited to get this exposure to all the creatives that are in Gainesville,” Lindberg said.

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