Columbia Open Studios



About 701 CCA Presents: Columbia Open Studios

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions! There are sections specifically dedicated to artist questions and the event marketing plan, below.

What happens during Columbia Open Studios?

 During the Columbia Open Studios weekend, thousands of people will venture out to visit artists work in the Greater Columbia area (including all of Richland and Lexington Counties), with maps and guidebooks in hand. Visitors can spend two full days hopping from studio to studio, with free admission for all

So it’s like a free, weekend-long tour of private homes and gardens, except you’re touring private art studios?

You got it. Join us!

Can I meet the artists before the event?

Yes! You will be able to meet the Columbia Open Studios artists  at 701 Whaley Street during the official COS Preview Party.

How will I find each artist’s studio?

There will be 3 versions of the guide; two online, and one in print. Both a digital guide and a magazine-style PDF of the program guide will published on this website, and a print guidebook will be distributed statewide via art venues, independent businesses, and organizations throughout South Carolina. Guidebooks can also be found at participating artists' studios. 

The guide lists participating artists with their studio address, contact information and information about their work and media, as well as maps indicating studio locations. If you would like to know where to find a guidebook in your area, please contact us at

How does 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios help the artists?

The event gives our local artists an opportunity to engage the public directly and show their art, as well as their creative processes, while promoting these artists to a statewide audience via print, web, email, and social media PR and marketing. 

Why visit all those art studios?

The public gets to peek into artists’ studios throughout the Midlands and see the private workspaces of highly creative individuals. Some of these studios are in private homes, in stunning settings or exemplify brilliantly economical uses of space. Guests get a sense of how artists work and can interact directly with the amateur and professional artists living and working right in their communities.

Our goals:

  • Provide easy access for the community to the visual arts.

  • Expose the public to the wealth of fine artists in Columbia, Richland & Lexington Counties.

  • Create new marketing opportunities for artists.

  • Generate excitement about area artists among seasoned collectors and first-time buyers alike.

  • Further establish Columbia, SC as a top destination for cultural tourism.

Where does the event take place?

Artists’ private, working studios throughout Columbia, Richland and Lexington counties in the Midlands region of South Carolina. 

What’s the backstory on this event?

In 2007 and 2008, 70 to 80 local artists opened their studios for 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios. The event then was held under the auspices of the now-defunct Columbia Festival of the Arts. After a hiatus, the nonprofit arts organization, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, resurrected the event in 2011 to overwhelming positive response. The event sees thousands of visitors each year. In its ninth year, Columbia Open Studios is an official 701 CCA signature event. 

701 CCA Columbia Open Studios fits 701 CCA’s mission of enhancing the enjoyment and understanding of contemporary art. 701 CCA is adding Columbia Open Studios to its broad range of activities, which include contemporary art exhibitions, an artist-in-residence program and concerts, dance performances and literary events.

How does this fit into the arts landscape here in Columbia, South Carolina?

One of 701 CCA’s major goals in presenting 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios is to contribute significantly to the capital city’s continued efforts toward building a thriving creative economy here in the Midlands and beyond. We want Columbia, SC to be better known as a regional destination for cultural tourism!

What's in it for me?

Through 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios, residents of the Midlands and beyond will be able to learn about individual artists, their cultural backgrounds and how their personal stories impact their art.

Will the art be for sale?

Yes! The public can buy art from the artists, who keep 100% of sales. Each buyer makes a long-term investment in our state’s creative economy, which generates $9.2 billion in statewide revenue each year!

Does 701 CCA take a commission on art sales?

No. The nonprofit 701 Center for Contemporary Art will NOT take a commission on any works sold during 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios.

Where does info on 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios reside online?





Artist Information

What’s the geographical boundary for artist participation?

Only artists with a studio in the city of greater City of Columbia, Lexington County or Richland County can participate.

What constitutes an art studio, as defined by 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios?

A space designated and equipped solely for the artist’s art production. Temporary workspaces do not qualify. However, a permanent workspace in your home or alternate location will work well, as long as it is your dedicated space for making artwork.

Can artists without a dedicated working studio participate, even if they rent or borrow a space to at least *show* their work, either alone or as a group?

No. The point of 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios is to give the public a rare peek inside the artist’s dedicated art-making environment.

Can artists with studios in the same facility register under one fee?

No. Each individual artist’s studio needs to be registered with its own participation fee. Each artist will be listed and marketed individually and equally, regardless of location.

How many completed works must be available for public viewing?

Participating artists must be able to show the audience during 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios at least ten (10) works of original art produced in the past three years.

Can I display reproductions?

No more than 10 percent of all art on display in participating artists’ studios can be offset lithographs or other reproductions and posters; at least 90 percent of the work on display should be original art, whether unique works, including sculpture, or limited-edition sculptures or limited-edition intaglio, lithography, silkscreen or other fine art prints.

Can I open my studio for only part of the weekend?

No. Participating artists must agree to open their studio and be present at all times on Saturday April 6, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Sunday April 7, from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. These hours will be advertised in hard copy, statewide, and cannot be altered in any case.

Must I REALLY record the zip codes of my studio visitors?

Yes. Participating artists must keep track of all visitors to their studio during 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios, most especially, each visitor’s residential zip code. Attendance records by zip code are vital to securing grants for future marketing for this event and its participating artists.

Must I REALLY track and report my sales info?

Yes. Attendance and sales records help us to secure grants and sponsorship money for this event. Your participation in this matter is crucial to the future funding of 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios!

What if I don’t want to apply online?

Print the application form, fill out all required fields (even if you need to use additional sheets of paper), and mail it with your check and a CD containing at least one image of your work to 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios, P.O. Box 12822, Columbia, SC 29211. Alternately, you may email your registration and image directly to us at


The 701 CCA website at serves as the hub for updated information about 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios.

Facebook, Twitter & Social Media

We have created and are maintaining connections between artists and the greater S.C. arts community using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and their robust tagging, linking and image posting features.





Sponsorships, partnerships, naming rights and other cross-marketing opportunities are available. For info on how to become a sponsor or partner of 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios, please contact us!