The Open Studios Tour has connected the public with local artists for 28 years, but when the event returns this month, it’s going somewhere new: outside the Boulder Bubble. By expanding the tour (free; October 7 to 8, 14 to 15, 21 to 22) to include Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville, and Erie, more artists will be able to host visitors in their actual workspaces rather than having to find temporary accommodations in the People’s Republic. And that means a more authentic experience for everyone.

The Perfectionist

Abstract painting
Courtesy of Dante Ortiz (“Even Ugly Blooms” by Dante Ortiz)

He may still zhuzh up the occasional garden, but these days, landscape architect and multidisciplinary artist Dante Ortiz spends most of his time in his airy Folsom Street studio. “Garden building has budgets and clients and parameters,” he says, “but I feel like I can really let myself go with my artmaking.” During your visit, you’ll be able to observe Ortiz’s paintings and sculptures in various stages of completion, making it easier to decipher how he fashions his intricate, pattern-heavy pieces using various materials, including spray paint, printer ink, wax, and glass beads. 3325 Folsom St., Boulder

The New Schooler

Skulls and bricks artwork
Courtesy of Paula Peacock (“Food Chain” by Paula Peacock)

Longmont’s Paula Peacock is inspired by the Old Masters—European painters from before 1800 who typically used layer upon layer of pigment to achieve a polished realism in their works. But where Caravaggio might have waited months for each layer to dry before adding a new one, Peacock isn’t that patient. Instead, she uses modern oil paints, which can set in days. It’s not just her paint that’s current—her still lifes marry classic composition with a sense of the surreal. See the speedster in action during tour weekends, when Peacock plans to paint for the public. 1515 Main St., Suite 202, Longmont

The Hot Hand

Courtesy of Ambrosia Glass Art

Angelo Ambrosia’s studio a block from Longmont’s Main Street doesn’t encourage quiet contemplation. Instead, with sweltering furnaces, sharp tools, and molten glass, it’s a place of primal creation. While the venue might seem rustic, the graceful vases, ornaments, and sculptures Ambrosia shapes there are anything but. If you like what you see during your visit—and aren’t intimidated by the 2,100-degree kiln—you can sign up for a five-week, beginner glassblowing class ($400) or private lessons ($85 per hour). 34 Boston Court, Suite D, Longmont

This article was originally published in 5280 October 2023.
Barbara O'Neil
Barbara O'Neil
Barbara is one of 5280's assistant editors and writes stories for 5280 and