Tour combines art, fun, adventure


Last updated 9/19/2023 at 10:24am

Photo by Bill Birnbaum

Laura Fouts and Wendy Birnbaum with some of their new work.

The Artist Studio Tour, sponsored by Sisters Arts Association (SAA), offers the opportunity to enrich relationships with artists in our community by going into their workspaces and experiencing their processes in a way that's much different than seeing art in a gallery. Since not everyone has a studio that can be easily accessed, several studios in town will host artists, and many artists will team up to share a studio. It is a great time to meet your favorite artists, up close and personal.

It all happens on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's part of "Art All Weekend" in and around Sisters.

Abstract and Western art painter Dianne Hallstrom will have an artist's tent on the lawn between Space in Common and The Open Door's Courtyard, where you will find acrylic painter Dan Rickards and oil painter Garth Williams. Farther down Hood Avenue, check out the Western art of buckaroo artist Len Babb at Bub Warren's Sweetgrass Leather Shop. Galleries in town will also be hosting artists throughout the weekend.

Three artists – acrylic painter Lynne Meyers, pastel artist Laura Fouts, and photographer Wendy Birnbaum – will be sharing a studio at the home studio of Meyers on Mountain View Road, six miles from downtown Sisters. The property is on the canyon of Whychus Creek, in Squaw Creek Canyon Estates. All three live close by, and they view the event as a great neighborhood event as well as time to make new friends who appreciate art.

This is the third year Meyers is opening her studio to other artists and visitors.

"People think it's all about art, but it's much more than that. People who visit are just filled with joy, and we have so much fun that the days fly by and we really enjoy it. Sometimes it's more about the fun than the art," Meyers said. "People come from Portland, Bend, the Valley ... everywhere. They come back each year, and we look forward to seeing them."

Visitors will be greeted by a colorful display of art hung from clotheslines strung tree-to-tree in the yard. There will be ornaments, note cards, pastel paintings from Fouts, photographs from Birnbaum, and acrylics from Meyers, whose acrylics studio will be open with artists talking about painting, printing, and techniques for mounting and displaying art.

In the studio will be a large blank canvas that each visitor can paint on, to contribute to a painting. At the end of each day, the painting will be given away to one of the visitors – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Birnbaum has created a new series she calls "The Colors Within: Hidden Stories Emerging." These works began with photographs of flowers that she took on the Sisters Garden Club's garden tour a few months ago. "I started playing with the sliders in the digital software and the colors that emerged are beautiful. I'm fascinated by the textures and abstract designs that came out of them. There are stories hidden within each photograph." She will also have a retrospective of her work, beginning with black-and-white photographs shot on film and printed in the darkroom, and including travel photographs that tell the story of places she's visited, and selections from her Western series and African safari.

Fouts has an art degree and has dabbled in many media including watercolor, calligraphy, acrylics, and book- and box-making. Now she works exclusively in pastels because she loves their tactile nature. Not only do the various brands of pastels feel different as they go onto substrate, but each substrate takes the pastel differently. Fouts toured the Southwest in spring, including Taos, Santa Fe, and eight national parks. Natural rock formations and the architecture inspired several new pieces with a Southwest theme.

Meyers will have a colorful selection of acrylics on canvas and on wood plaques, as well as ornaments and gift cards. For her, painting is about going into a meditative state and letting beautiful things happen.

Be sure to sign in at each location you visit. Sisters Arts Association will be choosing from the sign-ins just two names. Each will receive a gift certificate for $100, which can then be used toward purchase of art from any of the artists on the Studio Tour. The SAA does not sell or share its visitor lists.

These are just a few of 19 Studio Tour locations to visit. Other non-gallery studios you can visit on the tour include those of J. Chester Armstrong, Paul Alan Bennett, Clarke Berryman, Art Blumenkron, JoAnn Burgess, Gary Cooley, Annie Dyer, Kimry Jelen, Danae Miller, Mary Moore, Lawrence Stoller, and Susie Zeitner. Gallery locations are Space in Common, Sisters Gallery & Frame Shop, Toriizaka Art, and Canyon Creek Pottery. Galleries in town can easily be reached on foot or by bike. For more details and to follow maps, pick up a Studio Tour Guide at galleries and businesses in Sisters, or online at


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