As new members of our Chatham County community, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series this year because art is an integral part of Chatham County’s identity. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
In a year that has brought many closures and cancellations, it’s nice to be able to share news of an event that not only will be held again this year, but will also include a virtual tour option. The annual Chatham Artists Guild (CAG) Studio Tour, now in its 28th year, will once again welcome visitors into member artists’ studios during the first two weekends of December.
“In these challenging times, we all need this bright spot in our lives,” said Lani Chaves, Chatham Artists Guild co-President. “The December scheduling of the 2020 Chatham Studio Tour has become an annual tradition in North Carolina.”
The Chatham Artists Guild team has been working closely with the 42 local artists who will offer the opportunity to safely welcome visitors, ensuring that proper COVID-19 protocols are followed.
“Our organization takes the health and safety of our members and our tour visitors very seriously,” notes Carolyn Rhinebarger, CAG PR Chair. “To that end, there will not be a reception to kick off the event this year. The Board has provided guidelines to all participating artists regarding mandatory wearing of masks, use of hand sanitizer, studio sanitization, and limiting the number of guests in a studio at any given time. We also will have studios keep sign-in sheets so that we have visitor names and contact information to provide to the state if needed.”
The tour is self-guided, allowing for self-paced exploration with the map provided in the tour brochure found in the Oct/Nov issue of Chatham Magazine. In addition, many artists are offering appointment-only visits during the week. More information about the artists, the complete brochure, and map can be found at www.chathamstudiotour.com and in local shops.
The tour will include a variety of artists, including those who are relatively new to the Chatham Artists Guild and those who have been a part of the tour for years. “I have been on the tour since its inception,” notes artist and CAG board member Vidabeth Bensen. “Our first tour had 32 open studios for one weekend. Since then, the tour has evolved to include two weekends with the number of studios increasing. We have always attracted a lot of visitors, some from other areas, even other states. I know that some people plan visits to relatives to coincide with the tour. The past few years the board has been instrumental in bringing us into the 21st century as far as social media goes, which has vastly improved our reach into surrounding communities, as well as locally.”
Planning a large event such as this is no easy feat, particularly during a pandemic. “Every year we begin planning the tour starting in February and March. As you may note, this is about the time when the world was beginning to shut down due to COVID, so our focus became FLEXIBILITY,” noted Lani Chaves. “With this in mind, we decided that constructing a virtual tour to run alongside our traditional tour was the best way to serve the community. Our new virtual tour page has videos made by our artists and ways to easily connect with them, including the ability to make an appointment, shop online, or attend a Facebook Live or Zoom event. Each member will decide for themselves how they will make use of these new capabilities, but we have definitely increased the digital presence of our artists. This is a bright spot not just for this year, but for years to come.”
Make your plans today to visit some local studios!
- What: The 28th Annual Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour
- Where: Various locations and online through the virtual tour page
- When: Saturday, December 5th and Saturday, December 12th from 10:00am to 5:00pm; Sunday, December 6th and Sunday, December 13th from 12:00pm to 5:00pm
- Cost: Free
- For more information, visit www.chathamstudiotour.com