Celebrating over 25 years of creativity, art experiences, and community engagement

What’s New This Year for 2023?

This year, visitors will find a mix of outdoor and indoor exhibiting spaces. Each location might have between one to 15 artists. Visitors can confirm the number of artists in each location by looking at the map on the website. NOS 2022 introduced a new and updated website. Visitors can preview artists’ information, visit arttist’s websites, and prepare routes to optimize their time. 

Artists will be exhibiting in their backyards, porches, homes, garages, and private homes. Before starting their travels, we recommend that visitors browse the NOS website and select artists by genre, name, or medium to identify each location and, based on distance, plan accordingly. Traditional NOS red balloons and printed signs indicating locations will be visible throughout Newton.

Newton Open Studios COVID-19 Guidelines

Although masks are not required, we recommend using them indoors. Please honor artist preferences while you are guests in their spaces: follow any posted precautions at each location. 

This year, artists will be exhibiting both indoors, and outdoors as weather allows — check artist pages to find outdoor venues if you prefer them. NOS will update these guidelines as needed if state or local regulations change. Please avoid attending if you have any symptoms.

What is Newton Open Studios (NOS)?

Newton Open Studios’ mission is to bring together artists, residents of Newton, and visitors through the arts. We accomplish that by implementing an annual 2-day event for artists and makers to feature and sell their work aspiring to also increase visibility as professional and/or emerging practicing artists. NOS also promotes calls for art and exhibitions in Boston and Newton’s selected galleries and exhibition spaces. 

NOS is a local arts organization funded mainly by artists’ registration fees and donations from generous individuals and businesses, including Massachusetts Cultural Council, through its Local Cultural Council programs. This year, NOS is partnering with Newton Cultural Development from the City of Newton. Newton Community Pride acts as the Fiscal Agent for Newton Open Studios.

History

In 1985, Newton’s Third Annual Beaux Arts Ball was being planned. Newton artist Renee Rubin applied for a grant to organize an open studios event. Because of funding limitations, her application was rejected. It was then that Linda Plaut and Judy Anderson of the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs became involved. With their support and Renee’s efforts, the first Newton Open Studios was organized. Twenty-eight artists at 19 sites participated. Three years later, in 1988, as part of Newton’s Tricentennial Celebration, Renee had the chance to organize another open studios event. More than 30 artists at 24 sites took part.

After a gap of nine years, in 1997 the community’s third Open Studios was an important part of Newton’s Festival of the Arts. The event was organized by the New Art Center with help once more from the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs and in conjunction with Newton Community Pride Committee. Participation grew to more than 60 artists at 25 sites.

In 2000 and again two years later, the New Art Center organized and sponsored Newton Open Studios (NOS). The event had grown to 75 artists participating at 44 sites, demonstrating the artists’ desire to reach out and contribute to the community’s cultural life. The following year the New Art Center, limited by resources, asked Newton artists if they would organize the exposition. With the center’s guidance, a group of artists, led by Wendy Seller and Renee Rubin, planned and carried out a very successful 2003 event with 91 artists at 52 sites.

Since 2002, NOS has been a dependable and exciting annual event – both for the art community and for the public. It has grown into one of the largest open studios events in greater Boston, and in 2006, was recognized by the Boston Globe Magazine in its Brief Guide to the Best Open Studios. Currently, NOS includes an average of 175 artists each year at 50 to 60 pop-up exhibiting sites.

In 2009, Newton Community Pride became NOS’s fiscal sponsor. We greatly appreciate the operational support from this terrific organization, which organizes and supports so many “quality of life” events and organizations in Newton.

In 2013, NOS moved the date of the spring event from the weekend after Mother’s Day to the beginning of April. Surveys of our artists and our visitors showed overwhelming support for this move. Going forward, dates will be either the first or second weekend of April each year. We’ve researched 20 years forward to make sure we can always avoid holidays and school breaks. Beginning in 2009, in addition to the annual weekend in April, NOS held large juried shows. Until 2013, The Fall Juried Art Fest happened in November at Newton City Hall, juried by museum and gallery curatorial staff, directors, and other local art luminaries.

In 2010, NOS held smaller exhibits, 1-3 months in length, in the Mayor’s office and the Inspectional Services office at Newton City Hall. In 2012 shows happened at NewTV Gallery on Needham St. In February 2012, NOS held its first annual winter juried show in the Mayor’s office, and in August 2013, a first “Summer Selective” at NewTV juried by Kathleen Smith, at the time, exhibitions director of the New Art Center.

NOS was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, and in 2021 arrangements were made, and artists exhibited outdoors only. 

This year, 2022, marks the 25th anniversary, and more than 90 visual artists will be participating and featuring their creativity after a long hiatus from the art world. 

Co-Directors

Ellen Fisher: has been the director at NOS since 2012. Born in New York City, Ellen attended Queens College, CUNY. MFA from the Museum School and Tufts University. Ellen is a curator, practicing artist, and exhibits during Newton Open Studios. Ellen’s work in the graphic design field and her training in intaglio processes have influenced her approach to photography.

Claudia Fiks: Arts Administrator with 20+ years of experience working in arts and culture nonprofit organizations in the US and abroad. Areas of expertise include project development, management, fiscal administration, community outreach, event planning, relationship building, audience engagement, fundraising, and development strategies.

Newton Open Studios has overwhelming community support. We appreciate and value every effort and commitment from dedicated volunteers helping with hanging signs, mounting, delivering sandwich boards around town, serving as liaisons for different locations, and performing numerous operating tasks needed to bring this event to fruition.

Newton Open Studios fiscal sponsor is Newton Community Pride. Donations are tax-deductible.