MARIETTA - The Mid-Ohio Valley regularly plays host to tours of gardens, homes and lofts, and at the end of September, several local artists are opening their studios to the public as well.
"It's something we've been talking about for years," said Virginia Killian, a member of the Riverside Artists Gallery, which is organizing the event. "So we just decided to see if we get a good response, to see if people are really interested."
During the self-guided tour - slated for noon-5 p.m. Sunday - Killian will be welcoming folks into her Parkersburg home to see where and how she does her work in painting, ceramics and mixed media.
"I've done art for years, and I like sharing," she said. "And I want them to see that it doesn't take a big mansion (to create art). ... It takes a desire. It doesn't take a lot of things."
In addition to her studio area, Killian often works on projects in her backyard and on her porch. She'll share those spaces as well, weather permitting.
Also featured at Killian's home at 3407 Packard St. in the north end of Parkersburg will be pottery artist Katie Ferguson, a friend of Killian's snd who teaches ceramics at the Parkersburg Art Center.
Virginia Killian Studio, 3407 Packard St., Parkersburg
The Carriage House Studio, 178 Beckley Drive, Parkersburg
REsolve Studio, 332 Franklin St., Marietta
Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 Second St., Marietta.
The other stops on the tour will be watercolorist Lynda Rhodes' Carriage House Studio at 178 Beckley Drive, near West Virginia University at Parkersburg; woodcarver Todd Morrow and muralist and sculptor Geoff Schenkel's REsolve Studio at 332 Franklin St. in Marietta; and the Riverside Artists Gallery at 219 Second St. in downtown Marietta, featuring Cathy Norosky's painting and gourd art and Debbie Dick's watercolors and jewelry.
"It should be a lot of fun," said gallery member Jane Ryals. "You get a chance to see all the tools that the artists use 'cause you get to go right into their studios."
Tickets can be purchased at the gallery and the Parkersburg Art Center in advance for $10.
The day of the event, tickets can be bought at any of the locations on the tour for $12. A map with directions to the stops comes with the ticket.
The area is perhaps best known for history and outdoors activities, but the arts can also be an attraction.
"I think it's a great idea to try and get people into Marietta," said Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The arts are another form of tourism, if you will."