What A Surprise to Be Accepted into This Juried Art Show: 2019 Portland Open Studios

About a month ago, I applied to get into the annual art studio event, Portland Open Studios, where art lovers and collectors can go on a self-guided, free tour of over 100 artists’ studios and see them work in their spaces and see how they create art. The jury was prestigious this year, including Stephanie Chefas of the Portland gallery, “Stephanie Chefas Projects” and Lisa Congdon, nationally known illustrator and author, so I wasn’t sure what chance an unknown artist like myself would have—-Wait-—-Do you even know me? Who did you think I am?——I was definitely riddled with doubt, but wanted to take the chance and see how I fared. Just having these 2 high-powered women check out my art seemed worth the risk of shame or dying alone and unknown——yes, I have a flare for the overdramatic.


I was on pins and needles for weeks. I’d talk about it all the time. Would I get in? Did I have what it took? Did I represent what they thought was worthy of attention and recognition? Should I pretend I would get in and just start working on the things I needed to do to get done (creating new art, planning demos, making products to sell, etc.) for an open studio visit for art lovers and collectors?


A few days ago, I got the fateful email that I had been waiting for. Did I get in? Yes. It was full of good news. I made the cut and I would be able to show people my art in the space where I created it. I’d get to do a demo for them and have them interact with me. I’d get to show them all the art I’ve been creating——it’s a lot—-that hasn’t been seen or exhibited.

With this wonderful surprise, I’m now cooking up new art and fun things for this event in October. If you want an excuse to come visit Portland, Oregon in 2019, this is the best reason to come. It will be the 2nd and 3rd weekends of October, on both Saturdays and Sundays. As an introvert, I will love the break from isolation, but I also know I’ll be exhausted after so much interaction with people. I love chatting with them, so why does it drain me of energy? Can you relate? Do you know what I mean? In any case, I’m super excited and I hope to see some of you there who love mysterious and beautiful artwork.

Melissa Kojima Chalk Drawing-Oct 2017-2.jpg

***NOTE: I’ll be showing with artist Dave Benz in South East Portland, so our open studio will be jumping with many amazing sights and things to do. More details to come as we get closer to the date——but we do have some collaborative artwork to share with our visitors that we’ve never shared before. I hope you’re as excited as I am.