Tour backstage, meet artists, ask questions, and see the creation process. The 15th Annual Philomath Open Studios Tour (POST) allows interested guests to view and buy art at its source. Local artists open their studios for self-guided, free tours during the last two weekends in October. Wander through and find your favorite artwork for your home on October 21, 22 and 28, 29, noon to 5pm. Local wine tasting rooms, Spindrift Cellars and Philomath Wine Vault, are also hosting artists. This year’s tour features 15 sites with 32 artists including: Dale Donovan (Clay), Marianne Post (Pastel), Mike Bergen (Oil), Susan Johnson (Oil & Drawing), Aaron Reizes (Wood-Fired Ceramics), Merrill Sommers (Metal Work), Rinee Meritt (Kilnformed Glass & Mixed Media), Babette Grunwald (Encaustic & Textiles), Kate McGee (Pastel), Rhoda Fleischman (Ceramics), Debby Sundbaum-Sommers (Printmaking & Watercolor), Kris Mitchell (Mixed Media), Nena Bement (Glass and Fiber), Sara Morrissey (Kilnformed Glass), Jeff Gunn (Ceramics), Faye Cummins (Acrylic/Mixed Media), Jerri Bartholemeew (Glass), Kat Sloma (Digital Art), Lyn Radosevich (Mosaic Glass), and Debi Friedlander (Mixed Media & Colored Pencil)—to name a few.
Printmaker and watercolor artist, Debby Sundbaum-Sommers, along with metal artist, Merrill Sommers, (both featured here) are two of the many artists opening their studios to the public. An OSU printmaking 1975 graduate, Debby continues mastering her art techniques through exploring various artistic ventures and studying alongside other artists: John Rock, Nelson Sandgren, Berk Chappell, Gordon Gilkey, Mark Clarke and Frank Janzen. Using the monotype printmaking process, she produces rich and intensely colored prints by applying color on plexiglass plates, drawing into the color with all sorts of tools, and then running the colored plate and paper through an etching press. She repeats this process with each additional color. It can take three or more passes through the press to complete one print. Debby states, “With each image, I try to go beyond the initial inspiration and invest the final piece with something a little different, either emotionally, technically or, hopefully, both.” Debby has exhibited in numerous juried and invitational shows in Oregon and Washington.
Also in Philomath, at the same location Merrill Sommers will have his studio open. Merrill, a metal artist, welds whimsical sculptures that convey movement and joy with a touch of humor. Every day collected objects are reinterpret and used in each original metal creation. Merrill’s fun pieces will liven up any garden or coffee table.
Don’t miss this local, October event. Visit one studio or all 15! Tour guide maps and artist information are online at www.philomathopenstudios.com. Brochures with maps are available at the Benton County Museum, the Arts Center in Corvallis, and local galleries. Distinctive yellow signs keep visitors on track. POST is also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/philomathopenstudios.