A painting by Yrma van der Steenstraeten. The Castle Valley artist will be showing new paintings during this year’s Moab Artists Studio Tour. [Courtesy image]

The Moab Artists Studio Tour has added another day to its annual event, giving art lovers more time to go to any or all of the 14 studios featured in this year’s studio tour.

This year’s tour will be held on Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3; and again on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Whether you visit one or all of the sites, the studio tour is an inside look at how, and where creative people work. It’s also an opportunity to purchase artworks directly from the artists, connecting you even more to their pieces, said Linn DeNesti, who will be showing pottery and collage mirrors at her home studio.

Two of the home studios this year are in Castle Valley: those of Yrma van der Steenstraeten, a painter and jeweler, and stone and metal sculptor Michael Ford Dunton.

Van der Steenstraeten said she’ll be showing new paintings – large oil works and smaller pieces using acrylic on watercolor paper, she said.

“At the moment I’m doing a lot of animal faces that especially focus on the eye contact between the viewer and the subject,” said van der Steenstraeten, who also designs and makes jewelry, which will be for sale along with her cards, prints and original paintings.

The studio tour is planned each year to coincide with the Moab Music Festival – the two events draw some of the same patronage. Many people visit the artists’ studios during the day, and then attend concerts in the evening.

“I have people who come every year to the Moab Music Festival who come to my studio,” she said. “We see it as a fun combination,” coordinating the two events.

DeNesti and her husband Greg MacDonald, a watercolorist who also works with acrylics, are both participating in the studio tour for the first time. Although she has plenty of her own mugs, DeNesti said she enjoys buying other people’s pottery and remembers the face of every artist from whom she has purchased a piece.

“I like that connection with the artist,” she said. “It’s always nice to come and ask questions, to see the inspiration around the artists.”

One of the studio tour’s founders, Bruce Hucko, said there were only three artists when the event was founded in 2003. Seventeen are participating – three sharing a studio – this year, including Hucko, who is back after a four- or five-year hiatus, he said.

“It’s fun to open our doors,” Hucko said. “People in Moab find out that their neighbors are artists.”

Rather than call himself a photographer, Hucko said he is “an artist who employs a camera” – he says he favors black and white photographs that “tend toward the abstract.”

Other participating Moab artists include Tim Morse, Helen Becker, Sandi Snead, Robin Straub, Phil Wagner, Sarah Hamingson, Kathy Grossman, JC Borders, Joanne Savoie, Barb Gregoire, Nick Eason and Karen Chatham.

DeNesti, who is also a graphic designer, and MacDonald, a web designer, have given the studio tour a new look this year with a redesigned website, brochure, logo and map, which DeNesti said will make it easier for people to locate the various studios on their devices.

Maps of the self-guided tour are available at www.moabstudiotour.com. The event is made possible, in part, by the Moab Music Festival and the Moab Arts Council.

Peek into artists’ creative spaces during annual tour

“It’s fun to open our doors … People in Moab find out that their neighbors are artists.”

When: Saturday, Sept. 2; Sunday, Sept. 3; and Sunday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Various art studios in Moab and Castle Valley

Cost: Free

Information: www.moabstudiotour.com