News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Artist studio tour goes forward September 26-27

Despite the pandemic, and after the smoke, the Sisters Arts Association’s (SAA) fourth annual Artist Studio Tour will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 26-27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in and around Sisters. This is a free, self-guided tour to individual studios. Thirty-six artists will demonstrate and show their art in 26 locations in and around Sisters Country. Because many artists will share studio locations, it will be easier for visitors to see more of them.

Sisters Arts Association started to plan its fourth annual Artist Studio Tour back in January. It was originally scheduled for the final weekend in June, but then came the coronavirus. So early in the spring, SAA moved the event far ahead, to the final weekend of September. This provided artists with more time to generate new work.

The Association has great optimism that the skies over Central Oregon will remain clear Saturday and Sunday for art lovers – who have been indoors for weeks – to head out to these 26 studios in artists’ homes (and a few local galleries) from Tumalo to Sisters, and from Eagle Crest to Tollgate.

Artists and visitors are required to use appropriate safety measures, including wearing of masks, hand sanitizing, and six-foot distancing. The nature of the Studio Tour is such that the numbers of people visiting studios are dispersed over a two-day period, never exceeding recommended gathering size.

It’s an ideal opportunity for art lovers to meet their favorite local artists and purchase directly from them. “We will be in compliance,” said Mel Archer, the Association’s creative encourager and events co-chair. He notes that about half of the artists participating in this year’s tour have done so in previous years; the other half are new to the event.

This year’s new tour artists include Art Blumenkron (woodworking and furniture making), Scott Cordner (fine-art photography), David Hough and Marianne Fellner (ceramics and clay), Jean Wells and June Jaeger (fabric art), Kaia Sieffert (jewelry), and Kelley Salber (book arts). Also new this year are Kim Chavez, Bill Hunt, Anne Hunter and Linda Peck (sculpture), Len Babb, Jim Horsley, Scott McAllister, Janice Druian, and Terry Solini (oil painting), and charcoal/graphite artist Stephen Gasior.

Crowd favorites returning on this year’s tour include Mel Archer and Susie Zeitner (glass art), Danae Miller, J. Chester Armstrong, and Gary Cooley (sculpture), Mitch and Michelle Deaderick and Mary Moore (pottery and clay sculpture), Kay Baker, Clarke Berryman, Chris Nelson, Sandy Melchiori (acrylic and oil painting), JoAnn Burgess (pastel), Winnie Givot and Terri Dill-Simpson (watercolor), Steve Mathews (colored pencil and ink), Sandy Dutko (mixed media), Paul Bennett (painting and printmaking), and Jennifer Hartwig (scratchboard).

“My studio is large, so I can handle more than one group at a time,” said watercolor artist Winnie Givot.

“We are out in the country, in a beautiful big barn.

I will have work in progress, as well as eight new framed pieces,” she said.

Joining Givot in her studio this year is book artist Kelley Salber, who will show her miniature worlds and various types of book sculpture, called altered books.

“I’m looking forward to interacting with visitors and engaging with the intricacies of this media,” Salber said.

Her demonstrations include building miniature books, and taking classic books and turning them into art. Givot’s studio is at 18190 Wanona Rd., off Holmes Road outside of Sisters.

We reached sculptor Kim Chavez at an art show in Jackson Hole, WY. She is an art show veteran, with a lot of work to display. She’s eager for the Studio Tour, especially because Art in the High Desert didn’t happen this year. “I’m going to set up my sculptures, maybe 10 or 12 pieces, as an art show on my patio. I have a rabbit named Thumper in clay, and a bronze owl named Hootie. I’ll also be showing my process, including an original piece, a wax, and a mold.” Kim is at 2626 Thrush Ct. in Eagle Crest.

One of Jim Horsley’s recent works is the “32 Mule Hitch Combine – Circa 1910,” commissioned by a client who provided a small black-and-white photo as reference. “Due to the lack of resolution and color in the original photo, I spent considerable time researching the history and various other photos of similar wheat combine-harvesters,” Horsley said. The painting shows five rows of six mules each, led by two mules in front, controlled by two reins. Although the original work is not available, Horsley has reproductions, along with many other original oil paintings depicting the West. His home studio is at 942 E. Timber Pine Dr. in Sisters.

Art Blumenkron “semi-retired” to Sisters in 2016 and has since opened a wood shop dedicated to creating fine furniture from beautiful Northwest hardwoods. “I like to bring nature indoors and I enjoy using urban salvage, live edge walnut, big leaf maple, madrone, ash, elm, and myrtle. I am constantly amazed by the beauty found in these hardwoods and how they express patterns found in nature.” You can find him at 201 E. Sun Ranch Rd., Ste. 103 (behind Fika Coffee).

More information about the tour and artists is posted at

Artist Studio Tour guides are available at local galleries, restaurants, Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, lodging and elsewhere. The guide lists and describes each of the artists and their studio location, including maps. Roadside signs will be posted on the days of the tour, and visitors are encouraged to use their mapping devices as well as the Guide for directions to each studio. A downloadable version of the Guide is also available at


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