Studio Tour beckons, but first, First Friday arrives

Vashon Island Visual Arts’ Holiday Studio Tour is back, in all its ornamental and handcrafted glory, for the first time since 2019.

After two long years of pandemic hiatus, Vashon Island Visual Artists (VIVA) will once again present a beloved island tradition — a two-weekend Holiday Studio Art Tour.

The tour, taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, and continuing the following weekend, Dec. 10-11, will boast 38 stops, where more than 80 artists will welcome visitors into light-filled, fully stocked, warm places where their art is arrayed.

Name it, and you will find it on the studio tour: locally-made paintings, sculpture, ceramics, prints, glass, woodworking, jewelry, basketry, photography, fabrics and weaving, origami, miniatures and so much more.

The tour is a who’s who of many artists who have long found their creative homes on Vashon.

One of the stops, 3 Potters Studio, will be filled with colorful and functional pottery by Liz Lewis, Marla Smith and Karen Fevold. Tour stalwarts Terry Donnelly and Liz Austin will once again offer their masterful photographs at their studio.

Brian Brenno (see photo, page 1) will offer blown glass ornaments, ceramic pieces and whimsical art made from recycled materials, as well as present ongoing glass-blowing demonstrations at his studio.

And at Dig Deep’s Greenhouse Gallery, on both the First Friday art walk, on Dec. 2, as well throughout the tour, shoppers can marvel at the palette of oil painter, Pam Ingalls, who will show her latest exhibit — “Nooks and Crannies, Oil Paintings of Comfortable Places.”

But wait — there’s more: master jeweler Eric Heffelfinger’s work will be showcased, on First Friday and throughout the tour, in the gift shop of Vashon Center for the Arts. Heffelfinger’s work, in silver and gold, includes earrings, cuff bracelets, chains and pendants. He works with a variety of stones — diamonds, jade, red coral, turquoise, pearls, lapis, and many others.

VCA’s main gallery will be filled with the tiny treasures of VCA’s 16th annual Miniatures Show — a tour offering that also opens on First Friday, Dec. 2, and will additionally be open during VCA’s regular hours, 12 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The studio tour also includes GRB Bells, the creative home of one of Vashon’s most prolific artists — Gordon Barnett, who has been one of the pillars of the studio art tour for years.

Sadly, Barnett has plans to leave the island soon, so check out his shining jewelry and bells while you still can.

It’s a chance to truly shop local, and find an array of locally-made holiday gifts.

VALISE Gallery will also present its 9th annual “5 x 5 Show,” featuring small works by members of VALISE’s artist’s collective — Gregory Burnham, Dot Cherch, Bill Jarcho, Pascale Judet, Rachel LordKenaga, Robert Passig, Jiji Saunders, Sharon Shaver, Hita von Mende, George Wright and Lenard Yen.

All their works, suitable for gifting, are priced at $95.

VALISE, at 17633 Vashon Hwy. SW, will be open Fridays and Saturdays, in December, from 1 to 6 p.m. with some serendipitous Sunday hours. A First Friday celebration will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 2.

Find a full-color map and brochure for the Holiday Studio Tour at