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3:42 PM Tue, Dec. 11th

Visit artists in their natural habitat

courtesy photo

courtesy photo

Art doesn't just magically appear in the gallery. First it must be created by the artist.

This weekend, art lovers will have the chance to visit studios and art centers to see artists in their natural habitat with Mountain Artists Guild's eighth annual Artists' Studio Tour. Held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-4, this year's tour will include 56 artists at 38 studio locations, plus four art centers that feature an additional 30 non-juried artists.

Pete Heckel is in charge of the tour. He is also one of the artists on the tour. The number of artists featured on the tour has gone up from last year and is the largest tour so far, he said.

"It's great that people will do that," he said, noting the artists will demonstrate how they do their work. "I love doing it, I love sharing it with people. It's hard to stop talking about it. A lot of artists ... open up to people."

Some artists will even have people come in and take part in something, Heckel said. Deanne Brewster has people paint designs on tiles. After firing them, she mounts the tiles outside her studio. The following year people will come and find their art, Brewster said.

Brewster said she loves the reaction that her work gets from the people who stop by her studio on the tour.

"It helps me on my journey as I continue my creativity," she said.

Art centers participating this year are Mountain Artists Guild, Prescott Center for the Arts, Prescott Valley Civic Center and the Milagro Arts Center. Participating artists include Abby Brill, Nancy Koski, Karel Armstrong, Clyde Ewalt, Paula Cooperrider, Terry Andress, Bandhu Dunham, Patty Lindsey, Mary Esneault, Cin Hollins, Nancy Corrigan, Susan Popko, Ken Kasten, Ferrell Douglass, Valarie Isley, Russell Johnson and Patrick Harper.

In addition to visiting the studios and art centers and seeing the artists' demonstrations, attendees have a chance to win artwork the artists are raffling off. The artists are encouraged to donate a piece and display it with a sign referring to the raffle, Brewster said. People can buy raffle tickets and use them for any piece they wish. This year, most of the proceeds go to two art programs for quad-city youths at Mountain Artists Guild and 'Tis Art Gallery, Brewster said. The rest of the proceeds will go to the Studio Tour, contributing to next year's tour.

Curiosity about the artists is a major factor in people checking out the Studio Tour, Heckel said. And some return year after year.

"A couple from Phoenix mark it on their calendar each year," he said.

For more information, visit

Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.