Info for Artists - Columbus Open Studio & Stage

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? 

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 2019?

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 COSS catalog. Check out the 2019 COSS catalog!

How many artists participate? 

The number of participating artists changes each year depending on application numbers and geographic distribution.

What are the event dates for COSS 2019?

Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15 from 11 a.m to 5 p.m both days

What are the application dates?

COSS is a juried event. See our requirements for participation. Applications for 2019 are now closed.

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 door 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 may provide volunteer greeters for the main doors only, if deemed necessary for visitor flow. Artists located at Group Sites are still required to each provide two volunteers (sales assistant and studio door greeter). 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?

Each artist must apply individually so that we have all the necessary information about everyone. If you collaborate on work AND share a studio space, you may submit one application with both artists names. Only one set of images will be accepted in this case.

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

Artists who 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 — the exception is the personal art collection of the COSS artist. 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. The Greater Columbus Arts Council and affiliates and sponsors are NOT liable for any incident 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 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.