Being known for its art, Benicia has a fair lineup of art happenings each month: exhibits, programs, classes, artist receptions and fundraising events. For art aficionados, it’s easy to feel comfortable in the art world. But for some, especially those new to art, attending galas, openings or receptions can be intimidating. It doesn’t have to be.

Each May, Arts Benicia hosts Artist Open Studios, a huge event that draws thousands from around the Bay and beyond. It’s casual, fun and provides the perfect opportunity experience art in an approachable setting. Upon entering the private worlds of artists in their studios, many of which are live-work spaces, one can talk with artists and view their work, ask questions and admire the creative process.

Michael Van Auken

Suzanne Long

It’s best to begin your open studios tour at Arts Benicia, where you can pick up a catalog containing studio locations, images from participating artists and an Open Studios map. The catalog also serves as an art-filled keepsake. Map page in hand, meander through the lower Arsenal’s historic buildings, where many art studios are clustered. When finished, head downtown where there you’ll find various art venues, including glassblowing studios and art galleries. Artists welcome the chance to share their spaces and their work, and have conversations with visitors. While downtown, take some time to explore the history, boutiques and cafés.

Peg Jackson

Joe Garcia


Want a sneak peak at the art? Arts Benicia will host an exhibition previewing the work of participating artists from April 21 through May 6. Arts Benicia Gallery hours are Wed- Sun, 12-5pm. Arts Benicia is wheelchair accessible from Jackson Street.

Arts Benicia Artist Open Studios: Saturday, May 5, 11am-7pm; Sunday, May 6, 11am-5pm

Arts Benicia
991 Tyler Street #114
Benicia, CA  94510