A section of “Camano Island Crabbing Boats” painting by artist John Ebner.

Artists are adding final touches to their work and spiffing up their studios for company that’s coming. Mother’s Day is approaching, and around here, that means it’s nearly time for the Camano Island Studio Tour.

It’s the 20th year for the event that’s made Camano Island an art destination.

The tour runs two weekends: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 11-13, then Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20.

This year’s tour includes 29 locations on Camano Island, two in Stanwood and one at Lake Ketchum, with more than 50 juried artists who work in ceramics, fiber and textiles, glass, jewelry, masks, sculpture, pastels, photography, printmaking, painting and wood.

This year’s cover artist John Ebner has been on the tour since the earliest days.

“I never would have imagined this would have grown to be such an unbelievable destination for people who love art,” he said.

Heidi Happonen of PR Strategies in Seattle has worked with the Camano artists for eight years to promote the tour.

“Every year I’m impressed by how many people swarm Camano Island and come back to collect art from their favorite artists,” she said. “My daughter doesn’t remember never going. There are a lot of families that share that. It’s been around 20 years, that’s a lot of time to grow some traditions.”

For two decades, thousands have flocked to Stanwood and Camano Island to get an inside look at the artists behind the art – from ceramics to glass, from painting and mixed media to jewelry, from photography to sculpture to textiles.

Camano Island’s art reputation has also inspired new artists to move in, joining a community of artists dedicated to learning from each other while gaining inspiration from the natural beauty of the island.

“It’s a fun arts celebration of high quality art,” Happonen said. “All the nature that’s around there, it’s so inspired.”

Find more about the Tour, including a brochure and map, at

Staff Reporter Peggy Wendel: 360-416-2189 or

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