Correction: This story has been corrected to change the photo credit for the color reduction woodcut titled "Holding." The artist's name is Denese Sanders.

You've been working your eyeballs pretty hard lately. It's probably all that TV you're watching, or that tiny screen on your phone you can't stop staring at. For crying out loud, give those orbs a break, will you?

Here's an idea. Treat your corneas, retinas, rods and cones to something non-pixelated this weekend. Something colorful and inspiring. If only there were a bunch of artists inviting you into their studios, for free, somewhere close by.

Whoa — hold on. You're not going to believe this.

Map of the 2013 Artists Studio Tour

Click to view a larger map

The Monterey County Artists Studio Tour 2013, featuring more that 50 area artists who are eager to show you their work, is happening this weekend. For free! I tell you, coincidences are just falling out of the sky.

The tour is organized by Artists Equity, a nonprofit promoting the visual arts, and supported by a grant from the Arts Council of Monterey, which is funded by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors (i.e., funded by you).

The tour gets a proper send-off from 7 to 9p.m. Friday with the traditional Gala Kickoff at Pacific Grove Art Center, 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. That's free, too.

The tour begins the next day, with studios open in Seaside, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Carmel, Moss Landing and Carmel Valley, and continues through Sunday.


You can find studios by printing a copy right off the Internet (you can find it linked to the online version of this story at www.montereyherald.com). Or, you venture out and can pick up a map on your own at the Pacific Grove Art Center or at participating retailers. Use the map to plan your own self-guided tour of the artists' studios. Artists in a variety of media are on the tour. It's a good bet there will be some art for sale. And refreshments.

"Chickadee Dreams," 20-by-20-inch acrylic, by Carmel Valley artist Deborah Russell.
"Chickadee Dreams," 20-by-20-inch acrylic, by Carmel Valley artist Deborah Russell. (COURTESY OF DEBORAH RUSSELL)

Participating this year are nationally and internationally known artists, including painters, sculptors, jewelers, glass blowers, potters, photographers, wood carvers and others. Some of the artists on the tour: Peggy Olsen, Emy Ledbetter, Brian Blood, Cheryl Kampe, The Glass Pumpkin Patch, Mark Farina, Jody Royee, Deborah Russell, Mary Hill, Ken Doo, Kathy Sharpe, Sandy Robinson, and more, for a total of 56 in all.

Learn more at montereystudiotour.com.

If you go

The Monterey County Artists Studio Tour 2013 takes place 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat-Sun, with a party to kick off the tour 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Pacific Grove Art Center,568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove.