“If it weren’t for artistic expression and appreciation of creativity in our surroundings, it would be a very dull world,” Moab artist Linn DeNesti said. “Having so many fine artists in Moab is truly a gift to all of us.”

Starting on Saturday, Sept. 5, and continuing through the following week, members of the public are invited to visit with local artists participating in the 17th annual Moab Artists Studio Tour, a self-guided tour of the workspaces of artists in Moab and Castle Valley. There is no cost to attend, and those who do will be able to observe artists as they practice their crafts and learn about their creative processes. It is also a chance to see artists’ recent works of art and purchase art directly from its maker.

This year, individual studios will be open on different days and times during the week of the tour. Pandemic safety precautions – such as a limit to the number of persons visiting at the same time, and mask-wearing – will be in place. A full list of the participating artists is on the studio tour website along with bios and pictures of their work, as well as the location of their studios, details on the times each studio is open and the safety precautions that will be in place. The website also states that it is important to check for updates to artists’ tour information before visiting a studio.

Artists participating in the tour work in a wide range of media including photography, painting, drawing, wood, metal and stone sculpture, ceramics, collage art and jewelry.

Fine art landscape photographer Bruce Hucko (also known as the “art coach” at Helen M. Knight Elementary School) is opening his studio for the tour, as is Nick Eason, known for his unique wooden sculptures. Deborah McDermott, Helen Becker and Karen Chatham will be showcasing their work in multiple media, and Star Kolb will be displaying her metal-worked jewelry. Painters Daniel Hills, Julia Buckwalter, Greg McDonald and Tony Savarese are participating, as are potters Hayley Knouff, Aaron Rotchadl, Joanne Savoie and DeNesti.

“Investing in a piece of original art, or a one-of-a-kind bowl or serving platter, brings the soul of the artist into the home,” DeNesti said. “It breaks the monotony of mass-produced utilitarian items with works signed by the hand of the maker.”

She pointed out that buying local art provides support to “a much-needed group within our local economy” but also fulfills a deeper purpose.

“Art is a necessity – for the artist to express, and for humanity as it opens up new ways of seeing,” she said. “I see art as part of who we are.”

DeNesti said her community of fellow potters is very important to her.

“Everyone is incredibly supportive of each other,” she said. “Even though these last six months we might not be able to see each other as much, but we know we’re out there, making what we love.”

Event organizers, as well as individual artists, may be contacted through the Moab Artists Studio Tour website, www.moabstudiotour.com.