FAQ for Tour Artists

How can I help make the Arlington Visual Arts Studio Tour successful?

  • Add arlstudiotour @ gmail.com to your contact list and check junk mail regularly to make sure you receive information.
  • Recruit Arlington artists you know to participate.
  • Send furnished Save-the-Date digital postcard (coming in August) to your contacts and patrons.
  • Share the event on Facebook (coming in September) and post pictures on our Facebook page.
  • On Instagram, tag pictures of your work and studio, #arlingtonartstudiotour; follow and mention @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.
  • Visit each other’s studios on the day you aren’t open.

Eligibility and Registration

When is the deadline for registration?
Registration forms must be completed online by 6/1/21. Participation is capped at 60 artists, so register early to ensure inclusion.

I live in Arlington, but my studio is elsewhere. May I participate?
No; studios outside Arlington cannot be included, but you may open a space at your Arlington home where you make and display art.

I live elsewhere but my studio is in Arlington. May I participate?
Absolutely!

What are the dates of the open studios?
Studios with zip codes of 22205, 22207, 22203, and 22213 will be open on Saturday, September 25. Those with zip codes of 22201, 22209, 22204, 22206, and 22202 will be open on Sunday, September 26.

Why is the open studio schedule based on zip code?
The zip codes roughly divide Arlington into Northwest and Southeast.  With nearby studios all open on the same day, visiting many of them will be easier for patrons.  This will, in turn, help the studios get more traffic.  Also, artists will be free to visit other studios on their off day.

What if I can’t be open on the day I am assigned by my studio’s zip code?
There is an option on the registration form to appeal the day you are assigned by zip code.  It is likely your request will be honored if you are near the border of a zip code that is open on the day you prefer.  If you require a date change in order to participate, please contact us before registering to avoid losing your registration fee – alrstudiotour @ gmail.com

Can I be open both days of the tour?
You are free to remain open both Saturday and Sunday if you like, but AVAST will only promote your open studio for the official day.

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.

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 $30 for all artists this year. Actual cost to run the tour per artist in 2020 was about $270, so please consider donating if you can.

I’m having trouble with the registration form.  What can I do?

  • Make sure all the required fields are completed (those with an asterisk)
  • Make sure image files are less than 1.5 Mb and that there are no spaces in the filename
  • Make sure the file type is .jpg or .jpeg (lowercase)
  • Enter the correct answer to the math problem in the “I am not a robot” field
  • Try a different browser
  • If the Paypal form does not open, disable your popup blocker
  • If you get an error saying an entry already exists for your email address, it means you already registered.  Contact arlstudiotour@gmail.com to update your registration or make payment arrangements, if needed.
  • Email arlstudiotour@gmail.com for assistance.

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 arlingtonstudiotour@gmail.com immediately.  Registration fees in this case are nonrefundable.

I am not comfortable having people in my studio due to Covid.  Can I participate online?
At this time, AVAST organizers are confident that open studios can occur safely in person this September. (See the “Safety” section below.)  We understand that some artists may not feel comfortable opening to the public yet, but the benefits of holding an in-person tour greatly outweigh the drawbacks.  While no online-only options are currently planned, please sign up for our mailing list to receive information about any changes or additions that may occur before the Tour.

Promotion

How can I let people know about the tour?
AVAST promotes the tour on numerous regional and local event calendars, on social media, through press releases to traditional media, and through printed materials.  But year after year, artists who make the most effort with self-promotion get the most visitors.  We expect all Tour artists to help us get the word out.  Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Send our digital postcard (coming later) to your mailing list.
  • Include a link to www.arlingtonartstudiotour.org on your website.
  • Invite your friends to the Tour’s Facebook event and post it on your own page. (The event will be created in August).
  • Follow AVAST on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Create an event posting on Nextdoor.com.
  • Hang the posters we provide in your neighborhood and at local businesses.

Should I create my own Facebook event for my open studio?
Please avoid creating your own Facebook event for the Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour.  The AVAST page will create a Facebook event in August.

  • Invite your contacts to the event.
  • To post on the AVAST page, create a comment and a page moderator will share it to the timeline.
  • To post on the tour event that the AVAST page is hosting, add to the discussion and your post will be visible immediately.
  • If you would like to help with social media, contact us at arlstudiotour @ gmail.com

How will the public find me?

  • In September, your studio address will be published on the tour guide and directory.
  • The tour guide and map will be on www.arlingtonartstudiotour.com.
  • Printed maps will be available at local businesses and art centers.
  • Each location will receive at least two lawn signs.
  • Artists are encouraged to create and put up their own directional signs.
  • Place a road sign at each intersection near your STUDIO, directing people there (make sure to put them up and take them down no more than 24 hours before/after the event).

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 attend the tour (not just your open studio).

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, contact us to make different arrangements.

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 eye-catching images of your work with your registration.
  • Be sure to proofread your information for the guide.  Watch for a message 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).

Safety

How can I safely open my studio and prevent Covid spread?
AVAST asks that all visitors and artists follow CDC guidelines.  As of spring 2021, the following are further required/encouraged:

  • We require all artists and guests to wear masks. Artists reserve the right to ask visitors to wear masks or leave.
  • We require all artists and guests to respect social distancing indoors.
  • We encourage artists to post a sign on their door indicating maximum occupancy, and asking guests to wait outside if needed.
  • We encourage artists to open windows if possible.
  • We discourage serving food and drink indoors.

More detailed or modified guidelines will be communicated based on pandemic conditions in September.  Rules will be published on our website and on printed tour guides.

Does AVAST provide insurance?
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.  Hazards should be removed or marked off.

Must my space be wheelchair accessible?
Wheelchair accessibility is not required, but if it is accessible, please check that box on the registration form.

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  and never leave your cash box unattended. And in the unlikely event of a problem, have the Arlington Police non-emergency line handy.

Sales

Am I required to have work for sale?
No; whether and how you sell your work is up to you.

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).
  • Talk with potential buyers, tell them stories about your work.
  • Make it convenient for people to buy (read on for details).
  • 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 prices listed. 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.  Make sure to have change in case of cash purchases.

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

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: https://www.tax.virginia.gov/register-business-virginia
Add 6% tax to all sales and keep good records. The month following the sale, complete your sales tax return: https://www.tax.virginia.gov/sales-and-use-tax

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.

AVAST200

What is AVAST200?
AVAST200 is a fundraiser for Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour and sale opportunity for artists.  Tickets for this win-win-win lottery will be sold on the AVAST website for $200 throughout July and August.  All ticket-holders will receive an artwork by a tour artist, and the artists whose works are selected will end up with $100.

Am I required to participate in AVAST200?
No; you can opt out on the registration form.

Can I contribute more than one artwork?
At this time, we are only asking for one artwork per artist, but we may contact you if you indicate that you would like to contribute multiple.

How should I select my artwork?
Artwork submitted should retail for at least $200.  Select a piece you believe will appeal to a wide audience, and one that will help promote your studio.  If the work is ready-to-hang, indicate this in your description.

When is the deadline for submitting images of artwork we would like to contribute?
If you do not include an AVAST200 image in your registration form, you can send it, along with a description, to arlstudiotour @ gmail.com by June 15.

Can I change the artwork I submit during registration?
Once an artwork is submitted, the artist agrees to reserve that piece until the lottery drawing in September.  If the artwork is selected during the lottery, the artist agrees to provide the same piece to the ticket-holder.  If the artwork is sold or becomes unavailable before June 15, contact us at arlstudiotour @ gmail.com to replace it.  After that point, changes will not be allowed.

How will artworks be awarded?
Before the tour weekend, tickets will be drawn at random.  The holder of the first ticket drawn will have first choice of available artworks, and so on.  Any artwork not selected will remain the property of the artist.  Date of the drawing is TBA, but will likely occur in the first or second week of September.

How will artworks be transferred to ticket-holders?
Ticket-holders will be encouraged to pick up their artwork during the tour.  Artists and ticket-holders will be put in contact with each other in case pickup during the tour doesn’t work out, and to make sure everyone ends up with the right artwork.  Ticket-holders can present their award email or ID to claim their work. (Subject to change if the drawing event occurs in person; stay tuned!)

What if the Ticket-holder needs their work shipped?
We expect most, if not all, ticket sales to occur locally, but some sales may be out-of-town.  The ticket-holder will contact the artist if they need shipping.  At that point, it will be the artist’s responsibility to bill them for shipping and handling.  After S&H is paid, the artist can use the shipping method of their choice or as agreed upon.  AVAST is not responsible for shipping delays or lost packages, and encourages artists to use a delivery method that includes delivery confirmation.

When will checks be delivered?
After the ticket-holder receives your artwork, email us at arlstudiotour @ gmail dot com confirming the transfer. Include your mailing address (if different from studio address).  For in-person pickup, include the ticket-holder’s signature.  For shipped artwork, include the delivery  confirmation email.  We will mail a check for $100 within two weeks of your email.

Please read full terms in the Terms and Conditions.