San Juan’s Artist Studio Tour returns

Following a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29th annual self-guided San Juan Island Artist Studio Tour is set to return in June.

“This is a great opportunity for people to get out and to see where the art is made and physically meet the artist,” Mary Sly said.

Sly is one of 22 artists who will have their work on display in 17 studios around the island from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on both June 5 and 6. In an effort to attract artists back to the tour, the cost to participate was half its normal price, according to Sly. While an attempt was made to have the tour late last summer, due to the pandemic it wasn’t possible. This left local artists scrambling to sell their work and many were forced to apply for unemployment.

Organizers worked diligently in planning this year’s tour so it adheres to safety standards regarding COVID-19.

“We, the artists, wanted to show our friends and neighbors our unique lifestyles, our tools of the trade, and the artistic process from the conception of an idea to a finished work of art,” organizers said on the event’s website. “Our Studio Tour in June continues to be a popular event for residents and visitors to the island. … Many studios will be hosting guest artists in their otherwise solitary workspaces. There will be artist demonstrations and door prizes at each studio.”

The San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour began in 1991 when nine artist friends wanted to share their studios and artistic process with the public and it has grown into a highly anticipated annual event.

“June is a beautiful time on San Juan Island,” organizers said on the website. “Just as the island is vibrant with spring, the artists are eager to show off new work created over the winter months, much of which will be on view to the public for the very first time.”

Featured artists include Cinda Sue Dow, pastels; Cady Davies, jewelry and sculpture; Winnie Brumsickle, mixed media and fragrance art; Alison Engle, oil and acrylic painting; Nancy Spaulding, pastels, and Lewis Spaulding, photography and mixed media; Marcia Walters, photography; Teresa Smith, oil on canvas; Jan Murphy, mixed media assemblage; BJ Dollahite, watercolor collage, and Matt Dollahite, oil painting; Laura Bauer, oil painting, sculpture and encaustic; Annie Howell-Adams, oils and murals; Gretchen Allison, acrylic paint; Paula West, handmade ceramics, and Joe Cooper, mixed media assemblage; Yvonne Buijs-Mancuso, art glass, jewelry and encaustic painting; Bonita Diemoz, digital photography; Patricia Canton, watercolor; David Halpern, natural and repurposed materials; Lisa Lamoreaux, mixed-media oil painting; Luc and Sallie Durrette, finely crafted kaleidoscopes; Christopher Umierski, ceramics; Sammy Long, bronze, and Laura Long, wood; Trish Morse, marine life in sterling silver; Mary Sly and Dan Wyatt, wearable fiber; Shannon Borg, oil painting; Tom Small, sculpture; Thaddeus Krol, Kasimir gemstone amulet jewelry; Darleen Nixon, fused and lamp work glass; Richard Waldron, woodworker; Kirk Fuhrmeister, mixed media; Becky Kilpatrick, watercolor; Simona Brula, copper and gemstone jewelry; Adrian Kilpatrick, collage and mixed media; Joy Alyssa Day and BJ Johnson, blown glass; Lisa Lang, ceramics; Kim Bruder, acrylic; Erin Heydenreich, handcrafted jewelry; Beth Hetrick, watercolor and acrylic; Jason Munkres, handwoven rugs; and Valarie Keaton, homemade buttons and jewelry.

For more information on the Artist Studio Tour, visit

“We are really emphasizing people who live here to come to the show [rather] than trying to get people to come to the island,” Sly said. “We understand traveling has been difficult the past year, but we welcome anybody and most of the studios are very accessible. This last year, artists have been stuck at home working, with lots of inventory, with the attempt to make a living, so any and all support from our community, especially, is very appreciated.”