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The Open Studios Tour is Oct. 19-20, with more than 50 artists participating.

COURTESY PHOTO - Archaeologist and artist Virginia Parks will be showing off some of her encaustic paintings (painting using Occolored waxes) during this weekend's Washington County Open Studios Tour.What would it be like to peer into the life of an artist? Washington County Open Studios Tour is here to share what creative types in the area are producing.

In 2010, several artists gathered in a living room to plan an event. They wanted to bring the Washington County's community together through art. The Open Studios Tour, also a part of October's Hillsboro Arts Month, which was designed to highlight the arts and culture community of the city, has been running strong ever since.

Beaverton School District teacher Kimberly Ghaemmaghami is one of the artists featured on the tour. For her, art became a reality while balancing substitute teaching in a competitive job market, she said.

An artist for over 35 years, Ghaemmaghami said becoming involved with the Open Studios Tour two years ago motivated her to produce a body of work to show to the public.

"I've worked on many mediums, and I have a degree in sculpture. I make things with clay, and I have my own kiln," she said. "For this show, I needed a body of work, and that helped me focus."

Over the summer, Ghaemmaghami created 16 pieces to share at her studio, which is located in Tigard.

"This got my creativity going," Ghaemmaghami said. "For people who enjoy art as an activity to do, it is great because you can see so many kinds of different mediums portrayed in the show. The big thing I came away with is I was really unaware of any artists that are right in our community working among us."

More than 50 artists in Washington County will open their private studios to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20. Admission is free.

All addresses can be found on the Washington County Open Studios Tour website, including an interactive map.


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