"This is a unique experience . . . an opportunity to really connect with local artists," said Tracy Bauer, spokeswoman for the Alamo Danville Artists' Society.
The event begins with the Downtown Opening Gala on Friday evening at the Danville Community Center to preview the art, meet some of the 80-plus participating artists, and pick up a map of the studios. There will also be light fare from Bridges, Faz and Amber, and wine from Livermore Valley vineyards, as well as live music on the bandstand by Black Pearl Project.
"As you are munching away, you can browse the art," said Bauer. "It's a great opportunity for a quick nosh and a glass of wine before you kick off the weekend or the rest of the evening."
Town mayors and dignitaries will be in attendance, and educators were personally invited because sales commissions from the weekend go to the school district's art programs.
Then it's two days of Open Studios - a chance for folks to meander to venues of their own choosing throughout Alamo, Danville and San Ramon to visit artists in their workspaces, 25 locations in all.
"That's the beauty of the preview," said Bauer. "People can go and narrow down the focus and customize their tour for themselves."
It's the 14th year for the annual event, which was begun by ADAS and co-sponsored by the Town of Danville. This year the San Ramon Arts Foundation has signed on as a co-sponsor and done a lot of the organization, said Bauer, plus the event now has eight business sponsors, twice as many as last year. Also Open Studios' reputation precedes it and more artists have chosen to take part.
"Last year was such a big success that we had a lot of people saying, 'How did I miss out on that?'" Bauer said. "They were queued up."
Many of the studios are in people's homes but there are three public venues: the Danville Community Center next to the library on Front Street; the San Ramon Community Center on Alcosta and Bollinger Canyon Road; and the Danville Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.
"We are offering them as a convenience since some of the artists live off the map or work in spaces that can't welcome the public," said Bauer.
Even in the community centers, the artists will be doing demonstrations or otherwise helping visitors understand the process of creating their works of art.
"It isn't just a fair or festival," Bauer emphasizes. It's a chance to see artists at work and visit with them.
Bauer is sure people will enjoy seeing the studios on the second floor of the Pioneer Art Gallery on Hartz Avenue.
"It's so hilarious the things people have done with their unique spaces," she said. "Customized walls and floors - it's a creative space."
Alamo portrait artist Beth Batchelor, who co-founded ADAS with Ida Fareese, is hosting other artists at her Lanai Artists' Studio Workshop, as well as opening up her studio.
"Adult students will be working on their own art work at one end and children will be seated around a table drawing and painting with instructional demonstrations," Batchelor explained.
She will also sketch onsite pastel likenesses of people and pets.
"They are heirlooms," she said.
And she is planning a children's art chalk-athon on both Saturday and Sunday.
It all begins Friday evening at the gala.
"We're suggesting party attire so it should be a nice, swingin' thing," said Bauer.
Artists in action
What: Open Studios Tour
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, June 7-8
Where: 25 locations; maps available at preview exhibit or at www.OpenStudiosTour.com
Opening gala: 6:30-9 p.m., Friday, June 6; Danville Community Center, 420 Front St.
Forget your map? Call the hotline to find out where to get another one: 314-3470
Visit the artists
9537 Sandpoint Drive, San Ramon
573 Morninghome Road, Danville
3012 Sandstone Road, Alamo
524 Hartz Ave., Danville
236 Waterman Circle, Danville
Sally Ann Belsche
201 Front St., Danville
361 Castle Crest Road
38 Augusta Court, Alamo
499 Highland Drive, Danville
691 Adobe Drive, Danville
12501 Alcosta, San Ramon
Suzanne Hull Crosthwait
3169 Miranda Ave., Alamo
424 Shirlee Drive, Danville
2688 Marsh Drive, San Ramon
636 Brookside Drive, Danville
234 Montair Drive, Danville
395 Love Lane, Danville
1923 Green Valley Road, Alamo
2450 Palmira Place, San Ramon
111 Southview Lane, Alamo
132 Leona Court, Alamo
67 Hazelnut Court, San Ramon
Janet Crampton Pipes
409 Triomphe Court, Danville
120 E. Prospect Lane, Danville
62 Milano Court, Danville