The annual Moab Artists Studio Tour returns for its 18th year on September 4 to 5. The tour is an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to connect with local artists and tour their studios. This year, 16 artists are participating.
Linn DeNesti has been working with the Moab Artists Studio Tour for four years—she’s a graphic designer and ceramic artist with a studio in her backyard. When people visit her studio, she usually gives them a small tour, answers their questions about her process and sometimes does throwing demos. Rather than people seeing her work in a gallery, they can see how she creates it.
People always want to talk about their own artistic experiences, DeNesti said, which she enjoys—it’s an opportunity to connect with fellow artists.
“I always have a great time,” she said. “And it’s always fun to invite people in, whether it’s just in your backyard or inside the studio.” It’s fun too to see how fellow artists create their own spaces “to be creative,” DeNesti said.
This year’s artists cover a wide range of media: there are seven ceramics artists, six painters, one photographer, one wood-worker and one collage artist, although many of the artists dabble in multiple mediums—Deborah McDermott, for example, is a painter and linocut printmaker, and Karen Chatham does pottery; watercolor, acrylic, pastel and alcohol ink paintings; and leaf castings.
Most of the ceramics artists will show their art at Desert Sun Ceramics, a ceramics studio along Highway 191 that offers classes, workshops and memberships. Liz Ford, the owner of Desert Sun Ceramics, will also show her work during the tour.
The artists are all at different points in their artistic careers, which is part of what makes the tour so interesting. DeNesti has been making art for most of her life, but Samantha Derbyshire, a ceramics artist, wrote in her artist bio that she hasn’t thought of herself as an artist until recently.
“It’s been a lot of fun discovering and developing my style,” she wrote. “With so many ideas running around in my head, I’m excited to see what I create.” She will show her work in the Desert Sun Ceramics studio.
Another participating artist many Moab locals will know is Bruce Hucko, the art coach at Helen M. Knight Elementary. At this year’s tour, he’ll be showing his work, “WaterSong,” a series of photographs taken on the Mill Creek Trail. He has felt focused on water lately, he wrote, both because of its beauty and because of the local drought.
“There are few subjects more attractive to me than water flowing over slick rock,” Hucko wrote of his work. “This section [of the trail] seems profoundly ripe with imagery.” He will show his work in his home studio, and will also offer personal tours.
Many of the artists participating in the tour say they gain inspiration from the Moab landscape. Julia Buckwalter is this year’s Community Artist in the Parks for the Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and the Natural Bridges and Hovenweep National Monuments. Buckwalter is a painter—she paints with oil on canvas and panel. She will be showing her home studio.
A full list of artists and their studios can be found at www.moabstudiotour.com. The tour is free and self-guided.
What: Moab Artists Studio Tour
When: September 4 to September 5
Where: Various studios across Moab