Participants in this weekend’s Open Studio will get to see the Hite’s new MFA studios in Portland. | Rendering courtesy of UofL

For six years now, Louisville artists have let the public into the most intimate confines of their creative spaces. It’s not easy opening up your studio to strangers, but attendees who participate in the annual Open Studio Weekend have the utmost respect for artists and their creative process.

In other words, like a lion licking its paws or a prairie dog peeking out of its burrow, it’s fascinating to observe an artist in his or her natural habitat.

More than 100 local artists are participating in this weekend’s Open Studio, held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4, and those interested can now purchase a $12 ticket that’ll grant you access to all of the participating galleries. The ticket includes a 60-page brochure with maps to the studios, suggested routes and bios and artwork of each artist.

Open Studio allows you to peek behind the curtain. | Courtesy of LVA

The event is put on by Louisville Visual Art and UofL’s Hite Art Institute.

The big draw this year is participants will get the first look at the Hite’s new MFA studios in Portland, which are situated in an old renovated warehouse.

The space, built in the 1800s, will be used for students and faculty focusing on ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, painting, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, book arts and design.

Artists opening up their studios this weekend include Britany Baker, Tiffany Calvert, Ying Kit Chan, Geoff Crowe, Lynn Dunbar Bayus, Tim Faulkner, Debra Lott, Gibbs Rounsavall, Rita M. Cameron and many more.

Insider reached out to Cameron to ask her what the draw of Open Studio is and if she’s at all hesitant letting the public behind the curtain.

“The attraction, for me, is to network with people whom I would not normally have an audience,” she says. “It gives us the opportunity to expand our client/collector/art-fan base by creating and continuing relationships with patrons and visitors, ultimately enhancing their experience and understanding of an artist’s work.”

Cameron in her studio at Art Sanctuary | Courtesy of Rita M. Cameron

Cameron’s studio is located at Art Sanctuary, where she’s set up shop since 2013. She looks forward to letting people see her space, especially students.

“Mostly the visitors are shy and quiet — they will walk about the space quietly until they are engaged with conversation,” she explains. “College students will also visit artist studios as part of their class assignments. This gives us an opportunity to inform and inspire young artists.”

Open Studio Weekend runs Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4, from noon to 6 p.m. both days. There’s also an opening reception and launch party on Friday, Nov. 2, from 6-8 p.m. at the Cressman Center, 100 E. Main St. And also an Open Studio LouVelo Bike Tour on Saturday starting at noon.

You can purchase tickets online or at various stores and galleries like Nitty Gritty, Revelry Boutique Gallery, Artist & Craftsman Supply, CRAFT(s) Gallery and more.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."