In 2000, a group of founding member artists banded together for, the then novel idea, of an Open Studios Tour. They sought to revive the tradition of patrons visiting artists in their studios and promote Santa Barbara as an arts destinaton..
Since that time, the Santa Barbara Open Studio Artists Tour has doubled in size and open studio tours have gained popularity across the country as a way for artists to showcase their work, for communities to attract visitors, and to give art collectors the opportunity to purchase directly from artists.
Santa Barbara Studio Artists are distinguished from other open studio tours in that their membership is juried and the participating artists are top professionals in the visual arts. Many of their works have been showcased on the walls of prestigious galleries, museums and private and corporate collections from New York and Los Angeles to Paris and elsewhere.
Today, regional, national and international collectors, interior designers and gallery owners plan trips to Santa Barbara during the Open Studios Tour weekend to view and purchase premier one-of-a kind art works.
The Tour features a treasure trove of world-class original art and a view inside Santa Barbara's leading artists' private studios. The two-day self-guided driving tour steers visitors to artists' studios through the stunning back roads, charming neighborhoods and estates of one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the world. Tour guests may discover an award-winning wonderland of landscape, contemporary, and figurative painting, as well as sculpture and assemblage.
In 2013 a Year Round Visits program was added. Subject to the availability of the artist, some artist members are opening their studios, at very short notice, to individuals and groups who may wish for a private visit.