Ramona Artists Share Their Craft at Open Studios Tour

It’s not every day that you have an opportunity to step inside the mind of an artist and see where creations come to life. But this April, Ramona artists are flinging open their doors and inviting the public into their studio spaces to share where the magic happens.

On April 13 and 14, Ramona Chamber of Commerce will present the Ramona Artists Open Studios Tour.

“Every year, it’s an amazing thing to see,” says Karen Domnitz, Chamber event chair. “These artists live and work right in Ramona.” 

This year’s self-guided tour has 12 stops with 21 artists, three of whom are new to the tour. 

“Michelle Rodriguez is a returning artist who’s not only opening up her own studio this year, but also hosting two new artists,” says Domnitz.

Tour-goers will have a chance to connect with individual artists and learn more about their craft. Artistic mediums such as painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculptures, fused glass and woodworking are sure to inspire those who visit the creators’ spaces. 

Lyn Feudner, who works with a variety of materials, including fused and stained glass and metal, has participated in the tour for nearly as long as it has been running. 

“My most recent interest has been plasma cutting with metal,” she says.

Feudner is at Location 8 on the tour map, with glass artists Susan DePriest and Helen Munroe.

“Susan has a really fantastic glass studio, so it’s really great for people to be able to see where some of this stuff is produced,” Feudner says, adding that her favorite part of the tour is visiting with people who are interested in art. “I’m always interested in talking to people who have similar interests.”

Pamela Wilder, who paints in a mix of media, says she always looks forward to this event, because it is more comfortable for many people than a gallery show. 

“It takes the ‘stuffy’ out of it,” she says. “People aren’t under pressure to buy — they come in to talk.”

Wilder started painting in 2014 and went on her first studio tour, where she met many of the artists she’s still friends with today. Soon after, Judy Nachazel, who started the event, invited Wilder to join the tour as an artist the following year. 

“It was really a life-changing experience,” says Wilder. “This is a very tightknit community of artists. Every artist I’ve known has loved showing their work, because that’s their heart.”

Domnitz points out that many people tend not to think of artists as small-business owners — but in fact, they are.

“It’s great to be able to support these small businesses,” she says. 

Domnitz is excited about the number of stops, adding that it is the perfect amount for easy cruising time and makes for an ideal way to spend the weekend exploring the area’s art.

While everyone follows the tour differently, she prefers to take a small group, visit a few places in the morning, stop somewhere for lunch, enjoy a winery, and then visit a few more studios in the afternoon, splitting up the tour between both days. 

“It works out very well for me,” she says. “I have talked to people along the way, some who come from Orange County to do this event. Some people have favorite artists — you get to go and see who you want to see.”

Many people have their favorites, and many discover new ones along the way. As new artists join the tour, and established tour artists expand their creative horizons, tour-goers get to enjoy a unique experience every time.

As visitors see the artists in their own studios, with works in progress often on display, they’re better able to appreciate the skill behind the craft.

“There are a lot of people who are thrilled to see the actual areas where artists are working and see a lot of art in one weekend,” Feudner says.

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