The Long Beach Open Studio Tour – Hey, Look at Me!

A little background information for those who are not familiar with the Long Beach Open Studio Tour (LBOST).

“In 2009, the Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach visited Lisa Wibroe’s studio during the Mid-City Studio Tour. As Craig Watson was developing October is Arts Month for the City of Long Beach, he asked Lisa if a studio tour could be held annually as opposed to biennially and the annual LB Open Studio Tour was born! Working together, Lisa and fellow artist Tina Burnight, have grown the event each year over the past decade.

“Our Mission Statement is to introduce the community to its local artists in their working environments located within their neighborhoods and thus see that creating art is a “real job.” Another aspect of our Mission Statement is to help artists connect with community members and other artists.

“The first year, 2010, the LBOST was funded, not only by the Arts Council for Long Beach, but also by Connected Corridor. The Arts Council has been a supportive sponsor every year since our inception. This year, we had several businesses request to be sponsors for this free community event. We are very grateful for the support of our community and local artists. Our hope is to make the LB Open Studio Tour the premier event for Long Beach’s October is Arts Month and attract visitors from other cities to this Tour.”

I have been a part of the tour for the last three years allowing LB residents, friends, and other artists to visit my studio (actually a section of my garage but it serves its purpose) to see my work in person. It is fun, but man is it also a lot of work. So why bother? Why be a part of the LBOST?

What do I hope to gain by setting aside a whole weekend or two for anyone and everyone to see my work?

Sales? Not really as I never expect anyone attending the tour to drop anywhere from several hundred to a thousand or more on my art. Heck, getting people to pay $20-$40 for little samples is hard enough. I mean, if someone does buy something, sweet! For artists that is the highest praise… people loving something enough that they are willing to pay for the monetary value you have placed on its purchase.

Exposure? Well, maybe so – always nice for people to see one’s work. Most artists get exposure through having a show here and there, which is great, but shows are a lot of work and hard to come by. And yeah, I am in various shows now and then, but for me it is just nice having people over, having a beer or two, listening to some music, and seeing my work. Casual and fun.

And yeah, like any show, the LBOST is a lot of work, to clean things up, to set things up… to make my space a place where people can see and appreciate what I do without getting too dusty or hurt from stepping on whatnot.

It is fun having strangers drop by and ask questions about what I do and why, to talk to people who have already researched my art and pretty much know what to expect, and for the few who look at it and quickly wander away mumbling, “What the hell was that?”

So yeah, I do the LBOST so that LB and its surrounding residents can see what is going on here with me and my art. The LBOST allows anyone and everyone to see the many amazing and talented LB artists living and working here, that for the most part, go un-noticed. To see their work spaces, their studios… where their art actually is created.

There is a wealth of talent here in LB that is only experienced a couple times a year (the LBOST add the Mid-City Studio Tour). Come on by and say hello! Support the local arts.

Long Beach Open Studio Tour (LBOST)

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