How can I make the first Arlington Visual Arts Studio Tour successful?
  • Add to your contact list to make sure you receive information.
  • Recruit artists you know to participate and if their studios are in your neighborhood, try to be open the same day(s).
  • Send furnished Save-the-Date digital postcard (coming later) to your contacts and patrons.
  • Share the event on Facebook and post pictures on our Facebook page.
  • Tag pictures of your work and studio, #arlstudiotour, and follow arlingtonartstudiotour on Instagram.
  • Hang provided posters in your neighborhood and at local businesses.
  • Record the number of visitors you have each day.
  • Complete the provided survey after the event.
Eligibility and Registration:

When is the deadline for registration?
Registration forms must be completed online by 6/1. After notification of acceptance, artists must commit or withdraw by 6/15.

Can I sign up for only one day?
Yes, you may choose to be open Saturday or Sunday or both.

I live in Arlington, but my studio is elsewhere. Can I participate?
No, studios outside Arlington cannot be included, but you may open a work and display space in your Arlington home or partner with another Arlington artist.

I live elsewhere but my studio is in Arlington. Can I participate?

May I use a business as my “studio” location?
Not unless your studio is normally located within that business. Email us if you aren’t sure.

Can I invite another artist to share my space?
If the artist lives or has a studio in Arlington, yes. They must register separately.

I work in a team with another artist. Do we have to register separately?
You must register separately unless the majority of works you are presenting are made collaboratively.

Is there a registration fee?
Registration is free this year! We may ask for in-kind donations and volunteers if needed.

What if I need to cancel?
Any withdrawals after 6/15 may not be reflected in print materials, and are discouraged. If you have an unforeseen and unavoidable conflict, email immediately.


Does ARLINGTON VISUAL ART STUDIO TOUR take a commission on sales? 
No, artists keep all sales revenue.

How can I promote sales?

  • Have a wide range of price points (e.g. under $20, under $200, and under $1000).
  • Donate a portion of sales to your favorite charity, and advertise it it at the event and through the recipient organization.
  • Talk with visitors, tell them stories about your work.
  • Make it convenient for people to buy–accept multiple forms of payment and have wrap available.
  • Consider accepting commissions.
  • Keep a guest book so you can add visitors to your mailing list.

Must I price my work?
Most artists find it helpful to have price tags or wall labels to encourage sales. Some prefer to leave prices negotiable.

Am I required to take credit cards?
No, you can choose to accept any payment you like, but we recommend offering visitors as many options as possible.

How do I prepare to accept credit cards?
You can order a free card reader for your smart phone or tablet.
Information about Square: Click “Get Started” to set up your account and order a reader.
Information about Paypal:

Am I required to collect sales tax?
Virginia law requires collection and payment of sales tax on any retail sale in the state. Collection and payment of sales tax is the responsibility of the artist.

How do I collect and pay sales tax?
If you have not done so already, register your business in Virginia:
Add 6% tax to all sales and keep good records. The following month, complete your sales tax return:

Will ARLINGTON VISUAL ART STUDIO TOUR collect sales tax for me?
No, but we may ask you about your sales to help us with future events.


No, artists are responsible for their own property and/or liability insurance, if desired. For in-home studios, we recommend checking with your home insurance policy or agent.

What is considered a “safe space for public visitation?”
There should be a reasonable expectation that the public can enter without risk of injury, and the possibility of visiting children should be considered. Hazards should be removed or marked off.

My studio is in my home. Should I be concerned about allowing the public access to my residence?
Many artists host open studios in their homes and have a great experience. Precautions are always a good idea, though: we recommend that private hosts ask a second person to help staff their studio. Make it clear which spaces are open and which are private. Put away valuables that may be easy to steal and never leave your cash box unattended. And in the unlikely event of a problem, have the Arlington Police non-emergency line handy. Also, see above about insurance.

Must my space be wheelchair accessible?
No, but if it is, please note it on the registration form.


How can I let people know about the tour?
We expect all Tour artists to help us get out the word; here are some ways you can do it:

  • Send our digital postcard (coming later) to your mailing list.
  • Invite your friends to the Facebook event.
  • Create an event posting on
  • Hang the posters we provide in your neighborhood and at local businesses.
  • Hand out provided tour guides to interested friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc.

How will the public find me?

  • The tour guide and map will be on the Tour website site
  • Printed maps will be available at local businesses and art centers.
  • Artists will be provided at least one street sign and are encouraged to create their own directional signs.
  • 2018 participants who kept their signs are invited to use them again.

What should I do with the tour guides I receive?
You can give the maps to visitors during the tour or to anyone who says they will likely attend the tour.  We recommend handing out most of the guides ahead of the tour.

Where will tour guides be available?
Patrons can pick up tour guides at various businesses and art centers, such as Arlington Arts Center. We will post specific locations on the website.

How will I get my tour guides and posters?
We will email you the dates and locations that printed materials will be available for pickup. If you can’t make those dates, you may pick up at AAC during open hours.

How can I optimize my traffic?

  • Encourage other artists in your neighborhood or group studio to participate. The public will be more likely to visit areas with clustered studios.
  • Submit an eye-catching image of your work with your registration.
  • Be sure to proofread your information for the guide during the last week of July.
  • Place a road sign at each intersection near your site, directing people there (make sure to put them up and take them down no more than 24 hours before/after the event).
Event Hosting:

How can I create a welcoming environment?
It is important for your visitors to feel comfortable coming into your studio space. Make sure there is a sign on the door (perhaps “Please come in” or listing the hours). If the weather is pleasant, leave the door open. In shared studio spaces, provide indoor signage for where to go. When they enter, introduce yourself as the artist.

May I provide refreshments?
Artists may provide food and drink if desired. Please note, however that Virginia ABC can fine individuals who serve alcohol at public events unless they have an ABC license.

Can I work on my art during the tour?
Yes, we encourage it! But be prepared for lots of interruptions.

Will kids be allowed to attend?
Kids will not be overtly encouraged or discouraged to attend. Artists may politely ask parents to be extra mindful of their children.