September 2023
The Heart of Art
In the Studio with Prescott Area Artists

Artists across the Prescott area are again getting ready to throw their studio doors open and invite the public to visit their creative spaces. A longtime favorite among both artists and art lovers, the Prescott Area Artist Studio Tour is returning for its 16th year.

A visit to an artist’s studio allows guests a glimpse into the mind of a working artist. How that studio space looks and the tools and materials it contains reflect both the personality of the artist and their chosen medium or media. Inspiration can strike anywhere at any time, but the studio is typically where the work is done, where inspiration meets perspiration.

Metal artist Frank Schwegel

Sculptor Frank Schwegel is looking forward to welcoming guests into his studio in Paulden. This is his first year to participate on the tour, but he’s no stranger to art. Inspired by his love of nature and movies, as well as his father’s interest in turning ranch items into art, Schwegel builds welded metal sculptures from horseshoes and other kinds of castoffs.

Schwegel’s sculptures and functional art pieces are Western-themed, and he is perhaps best known for his horse sculptures. Built using recycled horseshoes collected from his network of farriers, and other ranch items, Schwegel’s sculptures manage to capture both the grace and physicality of the animal. The negative spaces are just as important as the individual solid elements, and the artist confirms that his work is “best seen in person.”

Visitors to Schwegel’s studio can view his work, both inside his air-conditioned studio and on the surrounding grounds. Inside, guests can get a look at the different phases of his sculpture process, ask questions, purchase artwork, and enter a raffle to win one of his pieces.

Painter and mixed-media artist Mary Clare McCartin is excited to welcome visitors to her Williamson Valley studio again. A multi-year Studio Tour participating artist, McCartin loves sharing her work with others, and several repeat visitors make sure to attend every year.

painter Mary Claire McCartin

While she has made art throughout her life, it was the death of her son that led McCartin to focus seriously on painting. Turning to it as a form of meditation and solace, she quickly immersed herself in it, finding that the bright paintings and brushstrokes lifted her mood, and has since adopted the goal of spreading that happiness through her work. An avid gardener and former middle-school science teacher, McCartin brings an analytical eye to her work. Her paintings often feature flowers, animals and landscapes painted in strong, vivid colors and bold lines.

painting by Mary Claire McCartin

While acrylic painting is her primary medium, McCartin also loves working with alcohol inks and plans to do a demonstration of her alcohol-ink techniques during the tour. She will have a variety of mounted original art, prints and cards for sale. McCartin is also participating in the raffle, with tickets available for her piece at her studio.

The Studio Tour is a favorite event for ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery, says Patti Ortiz,  its marketing and art-education director. ‘Tis has opened its Annex Art Education Building and featured artists during the Studio Tour since 2017. Seven artists are slated to show their work, answer questions, and present demonstrations in a wide range of media.

Tour participants look over the display at the Tis Annex.

Ortiz notes that ‘Tis connects artmaking, art education and art gallery in one event during the Studio Tour. Two of the classrooms in the Annex Art Education Building feature the same gallery system used in ‘Tis Gallery, giving visitors the opportunity for both an open-studio experience and a gallery viewing experience in one central location.

Most of the participating artists, including those at the Art Centers, will raffle artwork. To enter, buy your tickets at the studios and art centers. Proceeds will help support PAAST and local children’s art programs.

During the event participants can visit 45 private studios featuring 61 juried artists, as well as five art centers hosting over 35 additional artists. The tour spans several communities, with studios and art centers in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Paulden. The event is self-guided and self-paced, allowing you to design your own route and agenda.

To download Studio Tour maps and explore the full list of artists, art centers and media represented, visit The free-of-charge event runs from Friday October 6 through Sunday October 8, 10am-4pm daily.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.