See artists in their natural habitats 

Move over, wine and cheese! Art goes just as well with a leisurely brunch tour.

When SoMa-based painter Sandy Yagi gets ready to host an upcoming studio tour, she won’t be cleaning floors or stashing her sketches in the closet. She’ll just spend the morning painting. When visitors arrive in the afternoon, they’ll see how her studio looks when she’s working — easels, wet palettes and all.

Yagi is one of five artists on Sunday’s Tour des Artistes, a scaled-down, more intimate version of SF Open Studios — the self-guided marathon tour through hundreds of art studios all over The City each October.

Tour des Artistes — a daylong outing and benefit event for the Art for City Youth program — is organized by ArtSpan, the same group that hosts SF Open Studios.

ArtSpan board chairman Michael Yochum says the tour was designed as a more personal, behind-the-scenes look at artists’ environments and work habits.

“A friend of mine who’s an artist used to open her studio in Hoboken, N.J., on Sundays, and they would do Sunday brunch openings,” Yochum says. Coffee and conversation lasted all morning; the vibe was casual; visitors loved it. He decided to try it in San Francisco.

The tour begins with coffee and pastries at ARC Studios & Gallery in SoMa, where visitors will hop on a limo-bus for what Yochum calls “a brunch-around tour.”

“During Open Studios, everybody has their studios all cleaned up and pristine and like galleries. You don’t really get to see process,” he says.

Yagi, a long-time veteran of SF Open Studios who’s used to cleaning off palettes and sprucing up her space for visitors, says for this event, “I’ll just leave it the way I usually work.”

She’s looking forward to showing viewers how she makes a painting. Her images of skulls, human bodies and animals rely on anatomical precision, so she’ll often make several sketches, which she’ll have on display for the tour, before she gets to a finished piece.

She adds, “I’m working on a painting right now; it’s a couple of lizards inside of a skull.” She keeps clay models of lizards around to refer to. “I’ll just leave those lizards out,” she says.

Tourgoers will also get to see the inner workings of the studios of painter William Salit, photographer Kathryn Arnold, and mixed-media makers Carolyn Hinman and Philippe Jestin. There will be plenty of time for questions, refreshments all day, and art supplies all over.

Make sure you don’t dunk your croissant in the turpentine.

IF YOU GO
Tour des Artistes
Where:
ARC Studios & Gallery, 1246 Folsom St., San Francisco
When: 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $75
Contact: www.artspan.org

Note: ArtSpan also hosts a Benefit Art Show & Auction from 6 to 9:30 p.m. March 27 at SOMArts Bay Gallery, 934 Brannan St., offering some 150 artworks by SF Open Studios artists for bid.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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