Tour artist's studios across the Mid-Columbia on Nov. 16-17

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldNovember 7, 2013 

There's something cool about snooping around in an artist's studio, seeing where inspiration strikes and understanding how important light is.

That's one of the reasons the annual Open Studio Tour continues to be a popular event each fall. This year's tour is Nov. 16-17 and will feature the work of 14 creative souls in 13 studios.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there is no charge to wander through. More information is available at

All the artists have added new and innovative works to their collections.

Here's a list of artists taking part this year:

-- Linda Andrews Glass Madness studio, 57204 N. Sunset Road, Benton City. Though Andrews works mostly with glass art, she has fused photography with some of her visual art pieces.

-- Susan Steinhaus Kimmel studio, 4352 Laurel Drive, West Richland. She is an award-winning artist whose work has appeared in national magazines and books. She creates a mix of collage, jewelry and handmade books.

"We see 140 to 200 visitors each year per studio, both repeat visitors and plenty of new people," Kimmel said. "The studio tour provides a more intimate experience than a commercial gallery."

-- Jan Nilsson studio, 1528 Riverside Drive, West Richland. Her art explores the wet interaction of acrylic inks and Japanese sumi ink on watercolor paper. Visitors will see some of her latest art, which combines painted surfaces and collage.

-- David Wyatt photography studio, Terminal Drive at the Richland Airport, off the bypass highway. Wyatt's breathtaking images give viewers an aerial look at the Mid-Columbia.

-- Consuelo Soto Murphy home studio, 1509 Sanford Ave., Richland. Her agricultural paintings are created with bold colors in oils and watercolors, and often reflect her childhood memories growing up in a migrant family as they harvested crops.

"I have begun adding pointillism and visible Van Gogh style brush strokes in my paintings," Murphy said.

-- Kathryn Kaye studio, 2119 Newcomer Ave., Richland. Nature scenes are at the core of many of Kaye's paintings. She works mostly in acrylic, collage and encaustics, which is hot wax painting using beeswax and pigment.

-- Chris Walling studio, 631 Lynnwood Loop, Richland. She specializes in repurposing existing art works by cutting them into different sizes and reassembling them with new elements.

-- April Ottey studio, 65 Park St., Richland. She is a jewelry artist who is expanding her artistic style to include botanical pieces that incorporate forging and torch-fired enameling.

"This is my second year with the tour and last year I loved having people visit my studio," Ottey said. "It really helped them understand what I do and what is involved in the creation of my jewelry."

-- Ted Neth studio, 1931 Davison Ave., Richland. Neth is a sculptor who blends mixed media in his pieces. He is the retired dean of arts and humanities at Columbia Basin College.

-- Ron Gerton and Vicki Piper Gerton studio, 1819 Davison Ave., Richland. Ron creates sculptures that combine cast bronze with wooden vessels. Vicki crafts hand-dyed fabrics and also uses her scientific background to experiment with dye colors.

"Our work is always evolving," Vicki Gerton said. "(The tour) is the one time of the year when we share with the community the art work that we have been doing."

-- Kasia Gorski studio, 702 Jadwin Ave., Richland. She creates oil paintings that capture the natural landscape of farmland.

-- Susan Schmieman studio, 11 S. Benton St., downtown Kennewick. She is a weaver who creates a feast of texture with her loom, which she will demonstrate during the tour. Her work ranges from cotton rag rugs to lace weight alpaca scarves.

She says the tour gives visitors a glimpse of what inspires an artist, how the creative process evolves and how a studio is organized.

-- DS Watkins studio, 17B N. Auburn St., downtown Kennewick. She blends a plethora of artistic styles like book art, calligraphy, poetry and found objects, as well as encaustics on handmade paper.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal

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