San Juan Artists Studio Tour

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A great way to see people and parts of the island not otherwise accessible.
Artwork by Nancy Spaulding. Photo credit:

I don’t know when artist studio tours began, but they are everywhere nowadays – and San Juan Island is no exception. The Island has attracted many artists and craftspersons over the years, so the tour up here is considered something special. Begun  in 1991, held annually in early June, it is a self-guided tour of 14 working studios with over 35 participants. Basically, you find a map somewhere, like at the Visitors’ Bureau or an art gallery in Friday Harbor, and then you try to follow it around the island, visiting artists’ studios and shops. I always enjoyed seeing the studios more than the art, but it’s all good. One year I drove up this ridiculously steep mountain and got to a sculptor’s studio whose specialty seemed to be smoothing out large rocks. He assured me they sold well in Seattle. Anyway, there are plenty of talented people up here, and this is a great way to see them and parts of the island you might not otherwise have access to. For further information, check out the San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour website at