Art & Culture

New opportunities for artists abound in 2017

Arts Council accepting artist applications for two programs and hosting free grant workshop for local artists and arts organizations
OS pic 3.jpg

The San Benito County Arts Council is accepting artist applications for two upcoming programs: the 2017 Open Studios Art Tour and the second phase of the Utility Box Mural Project, Fuera de la Caja, or “outside the box” — and is also hosting a free grants workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at ARTspace.

The Utility Box Mural Project, a collaborative project that began in 2014, is gearing up to create another 5 to 10 murals on utility boxes within the city of Hollister. With support from the Community Foundation for San Benito County, the city and private sponsors, this second phase seeks local artists working in all media — painting, photography, graphic design, illustration and more. Boxes will be individually painted or wrapped with designs printed on vinyl. Individual artists or collaboratives are encouraged to apply. Sponsors are also being sought.

Artist applications and sponsorship forms are available here and must be submitted by Feb. 28. This is a wonderful opportunity to help make our city beautiful through art. For more information, please contact the Arts Council at 831-636-2787 or [email protected].

The Arts Council is also accepting applications from artists in all media for the annual Open Studios Art Tour, April 22-23. Artists based in San Benito County are encouraged to submit an online application.  Prospective applicants may also download a hard copy of the application at or call 636-2787 for more information. All applications are due by 5 p.m., Feb. 17.

Open Studios is a weekend art tour in which artists throughout San Benito County open their studios to the public. The event draws hundreds of local and out-of-town visitors and is a great opportunity for artists to exhibit and sell their work, as well as for the public to meet the artists and learn about the processes of art-making. This year's tour will take place on the weekend April 22-23 and will be preceded by a preview exhibition at ARTspace in downtown Hollister from March 25 to May 20. The exhibition will be celebrated with a preview reception from 6-8 p.m., Friday, April 7, which invites artists, friends and the public in for a special sneak peak of Open Studios. 

Finally, the Arts Council is hosting a Free Grant Workshop for local artists and arts organizations at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at ARTspace, 240 Fifth St. in downtown Hollister. The workshop will provide an overview of upcoming grant programs with the California Arts Council and also discuss the launch of the Arts Council’s new mini-grant program, ArtsExpress!. This workshop is free but attendees are encouraged to register online at

For questions or more information, please feel free to contact the Arts Council at [email protected], call at 636-2787 or visit

San Benito County Arts Council

The San Benito County Arts Council’s mission is to: *Promote diversity, quality and involvement in the arts for all residents in San Benito County *Encourage cultural and artistic growth and create opportunities for the production of art *Provide access to the arts through programs in the visual, performing and media arts *Establish a favorable climate for artists to live and work and for the arts to thrive