These ethnic necklaces from Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque will be part of the Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour in September.

Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour Showcases Teamwork, Camaraderie and Talent

In six weeks, 36 artists come together to create an experience of art – the 16th annual Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, 2019.

Initially in 2003, a group of seven friends in this far Northeast Heights area of Albuquerque opened their studios to the public. This year, 23 Sandia Heights residents and 12 guests present over 1,000 artworks in 13 studio stops.

I’m joining acrylic and mixed media artist Lynda Burch in her home, where we will also feature the works of potter Laura McIndoo. My work features a variety of beadwork techniques, and includes vintage African trade beads as well as semi-precious stones and crystals.

The tour benefits LaMesa Arts Academy in Albuquerque’s International District, where more than 200 students participate in art, music and dance classes each year.

2019 marks my eighth year of participation in Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour. During the time I’ve been a part of this event, my work has evolved, my studio partners have changed and I’ve discovered a new community of like-minded artisan friends. In 2011, the year of my first tour, I posted Five Lessons From a Bead Collection, a reflection on my work.

I continue to think about the tour and what draws me to participate in it again and again.

Teamwork matters in the Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour

As an all-volunteer organization the group must work together to produce a cohesive experience. Sandia Heights Artists meet monthly throughout the year and work in small committees to distribute tour tasks. 

Every participant accepts a job. In my time with the group I’ve served as president, secretary, sponsorship chair and head free publicity. Not one of these positions (or any of the others) could serve without the contribution of others.

Last year one of the largest committees was the signage committee. Thanks for their work, the watermelon signs were visible up and down Tramway and at the entrance to each of the studio stops. 

Each stop on the tour is home to more than one artist so that visitors get to experience a variety of interests.

Camaraderie builds in the Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour

Because of my ongoing involvement, I’ve managed to build deep friendships within the organization. This is the fifth year I’ve shown with Lynda Burch. Beyond the hours we spend together during the tour itself, I treasure other time together.

In addition to Lynda, I’ve shared art dates with other participants, lunch or dinner dates, or simple coffee catch ups and opportunities to share news about our lives. I’m grateful for referrals, and the sense of connection that I feel when I see one of the other artists at an event in the city.

This is a community, a place of caring and collaboration that makes my world a better place.

Talent reigns in the Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour

The array of talent in this tour makes me proud. Each artist brings something special to the table. One touts space age materials combined with ancient math ratios, another decorative and functional glass. The works are a representation of pottery, fibers, mixed media and of course, jewelry.

Even when artists work in the same medium, a different approach yields unique results. Many of the artist participants are award winners in their medium. Some show in galleries or other studio tours. Together, the group celebrates creativity and all it entails.

See a bio of artists involved in the tour here

Download the Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour brochure pdf.

Need I say I’m excited about the tour? I hope to see you during this year’s event. What kind of creativity most inspires you?

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