The 2017 COSS Call for Artists is now closed.


Important Dates for 2017 COSS Artists

  • Week of Apr. 9: Notification of artist selection
  • Saturday, May 13, 10 am – 2 pm: Artist orientation (mandatory, lunch provided). Artists will be walked through tour details, provided information and resources for a successful open studio, and participate in breakout sessions to facilitate answering of questions. Artists’ volunteers are encouraged to come, as we will be discussing basic sales techniques, including tips for closing the sale. Location will be provided in an email.
  • July & August: Studio visits. COSS organizers will meet with artists individually in their studios to address specific questions and note site-specific needs.
  • Thursday, Sept. 7, 6-8 pm: Opening reception for COSS Preview Exhibit at the CML Carnegie GalleryThe exhibit runs from Sept. 7 – Oct. 8. Artwork drop-off and pick-up dates will be communicated via email.
  • Saturday, Oct. 7 – Sunday, Oct. 8, 11 am – 5 pm: The COSS tour! Artist studios must remain open for the duration of the tour on both days.
  • Monday, Oct. 9, 6:00-8:00 pm: Drop off tour yard signs and counters, and pick up exhibit artwork at CML Carnegie Gallery.


What is COSS?

COSS is a two-day juried event that provides an opportunity for the Columbus creative community to open their studio and stage doors to the public, shining a light on the creative process and practice. COSS offers visitors the chance to experience creative spaces that are often hidden from the public. The self-guided studio tour is focused on demystifying the artistic practice through creative demonstrations and presentation of in-progress and finished work, while the scheduled stage tours provide the public a peek behind the scenes of Columbus’ most cherished performance venues. COSS is a venture in collaboration with and funded by the Greater Columbus Arts Council


Who may apply to COSS? 

The 2017 Call for Artists is now closed. To be notified when the 2018 Call for Artists opens, please contact us and we will add you to our mailing list.

COSS is a juried event. Any visual artist residing in the Columbus area (within I-270) can apply.*  We strongly encourage artists with home studios to apply. Participants must have a studio or workspace either in or outside their home that will be made open to the public for the duration of the event weekend. During the tour, artists are required to demonstrate a process and have a minimum of ten pieces on display. Artists who have participated on the COSS tour in a previous year are eligible to apply for the current year.

*While we recognize there are amazing studios just outside of I-270, we are currently focused on building a denser experience. As we learn and grow, COSS hopes to include studios outside of the outerbelt.


Why should I participate in COSS 2017?

COSS provides an opportunity to gain a new audience for your work, obtain feedback, and show the public what makes your work unique. As a participant, you will have the chance to have one-on-one conversations with art enthusiasts and collectors, solidifying new connections. COSS provides participants with resources for ensuring a successful event, including sales, marketing and tour preparation tools. Participants will be featured on the COSS website and tour map, in our marketing campaign and in the 2017 COSS catalog. Check out the 2016 COSS catalog!


How many artists participate? 

The number of participating artists changes each year. In 2016, 25 artist studios were selected from the submitted applications. 


What are the event dates for COSS 2017?

Studios will be open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Participating artists must commit to opening their studios during these hours.  


What are the application dates?

The 2017 Call for Artists is now closed. COSS is a juried event. Artists will receive selection notification the week of Apr. 9, 2017. See our requirements for participation.


What if I have to cancel after I apply?  Can I get my money back?

No refunds will be given. 


I paint in my kitchen, is that a studio that people would be interested in?  What constitutes a studio?

COSS strongly encourages artists with home studios to apply. We absolutely consider a kitchen table a studio! Any creative space where you create is a studio. COSS’ purpose is to show the public what creative spaces look like, and to demystify the creative process. Each artist has different circumstances and resources. The artist defines the studio for this event. COSS defines a studio as a residence or a rented space. 


Will COSS find me a studio to showcase my work for the tour?

It is the responsibility of the participant to provide a studio location for the tour. You will need to provide your studio address when you apply. The studio address is the location open to the public during the event weekend.


Will COSS provide me with volunteers during the tour weekend?

The short answer is no. COSS requires that participating artists have a minimum of two volunteers for the duration of the event: one volunteer sales assistant and one volunteer studio greeter. These volunteers are needed to facilitate demonstrations, close sales, coordinate visitor flow, and count visitors.

At Group Sites (i.e., multi-studio spaces such as 400 W. Rich Street), COSS will provide volunteer greeters for the main doors only. Artists located at Group Sites are still required to have two volunteers (sales assistant and studio greeter). The volunteers provided by COSS will usher visitors from the main doors to studio doors to alleviate visitor confusion about where to go.


If I am a member of an artist collective, how do I apply and what is the fee?

Artist collectives that demonstrate a shared process or a collective project may apply as a single entity and pay a $25 fee. A general rule of thumb is if you market yourselves as one entity (e.g., “XYZ Collective” or “Bing Bang Boom Studios”) then you qualify as a collective; however, if you market yourselves as individuals, you should apply separately. If you are unsure whether “collective” applies to you, please apply contact us for further clarification.


I share a studio space with other creatives but we are not part of a collective. If we all want to participate, do we each have to apply as individuals?

Yes. Each individual artist is required to apply separately. An exemption is made for collectives because a collective is typically marketed as one entity (see previous question). For further clarification or to discuss your particular circumstances, please contact us.


Can I be at another studio on the tour but not officially apply myself?

Artists that have not applied and been accepted by COSS are not eligible to participate in the tour. Participating artists may NOT display non-participating artists’ work in their studio during the event weekend. If you wish to benefit from COSS’ marketing reach and the unique connections made with the public during the event, you must apply and be accepted.  


Do I need special insurance?

Insurance is a good idea. Columbus Open Studio & Stage and it’s affiliates are NOT liable for any incidence occurring at any home or studio space. We advise you to check whether your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover this type of one time event. This type of event is considered low risk and extra insurance may be available for the duration of the event at little cost.


What does COSS do to promote the tour?

COSS promotes artists through a dedicated website, social media, postcards, partner locations print media, television, radio and through the Art Makes Columbus | Columbus Makes Art campaign via the support of Greater Columbus Arts Council. Special event invitations are issued to select Columbus media outlets, collectors, administrators and art advocates. Prior to the event weekend, we will provide participants with branded marketing resources. On the event weekend, COSS will provide signage to direct traffic to studio locations.


May I sell items other than my own during the tour?

All items on display during tour weekend must be items created by participating artists. Items created by someone else may NOT be shown or sold.


Do I need to charge tax on sales made at the studio?

State and Federal law requires tax on all sales.  It is the responsibility of each artist to comply with the laws set forth by the State of Ohio and IRS.