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The free tour hosted by the Washington County Art Alliance is back Oct. 15-16.

COURTESY PHOTO: ELIZABETH HIGGINS - Elizabeth Higgins paints in her studio in a former hotel in Hillsboro.The Washington County Open Studios Tour gives experienced curators and curious clients alike the opportunity to see the process, not just the finished work.

The free tour hosted by the Washington County Art Alliance is back from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 15 and Oct. 16.

More than 50 local artists are opening their studio doors for the event.

"Art is usually a very solitary endeavor. You're in your studio, and it's just you. There's nothing like that one-on-one connection with the public to educate or show them new mediums they maybe haven't heard of," said event co-chair Amy Stoner, a painter and printmaker in Portland.

Of the tour, which invites members of the public into actual working artists' studios, Stoner added: "It's a little sneak peak you don't normally get to see."

From sculptors in Gaston to Beaverton painters, the tour spans both the county and a wide range artistic mediums.

Watercolorist Elizabeth Higgins' downtown Hillsboro studio is a former hotel where horses used to stand outside a first-floor saloon. The painter and teacher said she is excited for visitors to spend a bit of time creating in her space.

"I feel like I have this inner world that is in my imagination and in my mind that comes out in my studio," Higgins said. "I have a little space that is all mine. It's a private, separate space where I can just be and do whatever I wish. I think when people see my studio, it just gives a bigger picture of my personality and is playful and fun and colorful."

She added, "We all have artists inside us. I don't want people to be afraid to come. They don't have to know anything about art or artists to take a tour."

At Golden Road Arts in Hillsboro, a printmaker with a pair of etching presses shares a house of studios with a woodworker, a photographer and a sculptor, as well as an abstract ink and a fabric artist. The nonprofit makes free videos to teach art to children without art education in their schools.COURTESY PHOTO: BARBARA MASON - Barbara Mason created this print called 'Restful' at Golden Roads Art in Hillsboro.

"I love showing people printmaking," said printmaker Barbara Mason, who uses non-toxic, water-based ink. "To have people come into your studio, for me, it's about the education. If we don't educate people about what printmaking is, we're not going to have any clients."

For a full list of participating artists, as well as a map of their studios, visit WashCoArt.org.


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