Celebrating over 28 years of creativity, art experiences, and community engagement
For the upcoming last weekend in April this year, visitors can anticipate a vibrant showcase of artists in indoor venues, with the exception of the location ‘Art In and Out of the Villa’, which will feature outdoor sculptures and site-specific installations.
We’re excited to welcome approximately 130 artists who will be exhibiting in their homes, studios, or in group locations. Each venue may host anywhere from one to 15 artists, with Newton City Hall hosting even more. To streamline their experience, visitors can consult the map on our website to confirm the number of artists at each location, preview artists’ information, explore their websites, and plan efficient routes to maximize their time.
Given the expansive array of locations and the geography of Newton, visitors are encouraged to utilize bicycles, cars or carpooling; presenting a fun and efficient alternative. Throughout the weekend of NOS, our traditional NOS red balloons and printed signs will serve as beacons, guiding visitors to the various locations scattered across Newton.
We recommend that you carve out time to visit some of Newton’s popular restaurants. Newton restaurants are ready for you to take a break from seeing great artwork!
About Us: What is Newton Open Studios?
Newton Open Studios (NOS) is dedicated to fostering connections among artists, Newton residents, and visitors through the arts. Our mission is realized through an annual two-day event that provides artists and makers with a platform to showcase and sell their work, while also striving to enhance their visibility as professional or emerging practicing artists. Additionally, NOS actively promotes opportunities for artists through calls for art and exhibitions in selected galleries and exhibition spaces in Boston and Newton.
As a local arts organization, NOS is primarily funded by artists’ registration fees and donations from generous individuals and businesses, including support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council through its Local Cultural Council programs. We are happy to announce that this year, we were the recipients of a grant from Newton Cultural Council. Newton Community Pride serves as the Fiscal Agent for Newton Open Studios, further enabling us to fulfill our mission and support the vibrant arts community in Newton.
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 2019-2020, and in 2021 arrangements were made, and artists exhibited outdoors only.
This year, 2024, marks the 28th anniversary, and we expect that more than 90 visual artists will be participating and featuring their creativity.
Director, Claudia Fiks: With over 20 years of experience in arts administration, Claudia specializes in project development, management, community outreach, and fundraising.
Website Manager, Deb Perugi: A graphic designer and illustrator with over thirty years of experience, Deb manages the NOS website and brings extensive expertise in web design and consulting.
Advisor, Ellen Fisher: A curator and practicing artist, Ellen previously served as director at NOS and brings a wealth of experience in graphic design and photography.
Social Media Coordinator, Emlyn Dasilva: An arts administrator responsible for managing NOS’s social media presence and engagement.
Newton Open Studios is proudly sponsored by Newton Community Pride, and donations are tax-deductible.