Artists & Artisans:  join the Zootown Arts Community Center for our newest adventure: Open Studios Missoula! All mediums encouraged, including painting, photography, fiber, ceramics, glass, fine jewelry, mixed media, printmaking, sculpture, artisanal food, writers & poets, musicians and makers of all kinds! We hope you can be a part of this lively event, sure to become an annual highlight on the Missoula arts calendar!


Location 1: The Zootown Arts Community Center 235 N. First St. W.

Opening Studio Preview Reception:  Aug 10th from 5:30 -8:30. 

The ZACC will display one piece of work from every participating artist during our 2nd Friday "Open Studio" Preview Reception. All works of art will be part of a silent auction. 50%, 75%, or 100% of proceeds go towards "Open Studio" costs. 

The ZACC has a limited number of shelves and pedestals. Please let us know in advance if you need either. All work must be dry and ready to hang. 

Artists/Groups names and addresses will be added to a map that guests will see via social media and on a poster that will be distributed before the event. 

The ZACC will organize a bike tour for Saturday Aug 10th. Leaving the ZACC at 10:45

Location 2: Your Studio! 

Open Studios: Saturday, Aug 11th  11am – 4pm

Missoula Open Studios provides an intimate view into the artist’s life and studio; Guests will be able to see where and how ideas are conceived and developed. When visiting an artist’s studio, the creative process becomes apparent and is unique to each artist. It provides a personal, individualized experience, unlike the setting of a typical gallery show. This is what makes our event so special. 

Missoula has a burgeoning community of artists and craftspeople working in traditional and contemporary media. Here’s your chance to meet artists in their work environments; get insights into how and what they create; and take home a painting, sculpture, a piece of handcrafted furniture, or a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

Guests will be engaged, inspired, and, on occasion, challenged by the art. They’ll see finished art, works-in-process, and art installations in home studios, artists’ buildings, historic structures, galleries, and storefronts. Some open studios provide demonstration, live music and/or refreshments. All open studios are free.

FEE:  $35  Artists who share studio space may split the fee. 

Registration Deadline:  March 1st 2018

Artwork for Open Studio Exhibition Due by Saturday August 4th!  

ARTIST MARKETING TOOLS –  The ZACC provides advertising, publicity and social media outreach, but participating artists are all expected to be part of the publicity team!

Posters:  The ZACC will produce a poster for you to distribute.

Evites & Newsletters:  The ZACC will send out “Open Studio” info that you can forward to your email contacts.

Social Media: Follow us on Facebook, and Instagram


ONGOING PREPARATION: Keep your mailing list up to date. Keep an eye out for people who you want on your postcard and email list.

Have your artwork professionally photographed, or plan to do it yourself.

Make notes of things you like and don’t like at exhibits and open studios you attend. Take note of display elements that might work for you, or the way things are arranged on a wall or in a room.  

Look at prices for comparable work. Do you feel comfortable about where your prices are set in relation to others?

Keep notes of blogs you like, where you might like to be featured, and make a record of their contact and submission information.

Keep an eye out for publications where you might want to advertise. Gather their information. Often print ad deadlines are months ahead of publication.



Any PR opportunities? Write an article or press release that highlights your special story.

Create a budget for your event. Consider: display material, lighting, postcards/ postage, studio improvements, food and beverage, cups and service, hired help, and anything else that you can think of. It should be a number that you are comfortable with. Thinking it through early will keep you from being caught off guard by unplanned expenses.



Consider any major changes you'd like to make to your studio. Open Studios is a great excuse to dream and manifest magic in your workspace.

Pool your resources! Are you showing with other artists? Now is the time to organize and divvy up tasks. Will you be marketing as a group? Will you create a Facebook Event together? A postcard together?

Do you need to order any finishing or framing materails? 


Do you know which pieces you're going to show?

Has all the artwork you plan on showing been photographed?

Update your website and/or online presence



Design your own postcard and have it printed early!

Start announcing your OS plans on social media.

Attend events like, First Friday. Remind people Open Studios is coming up. Bring your cards!



What's left to get the artwork ready?

What's left to get the studio ready?

Are you prepared to make sales by check or credit card?

Contact your e-mail list and invite them to Save the Date for your Open Studios weekend and 2nd Friday Opening reception at The ZACC.

Create a Facebook event, a blog post, Tweet, etc.

Mail your postcards to your mailing list.



Exchange postcards with other artists. Keep stacks in your studio for visitors.

Facebook, Twitter, blog about it, etc.

Promote your friends’ Open Studios on your social media, and encourage them to do the same. The more awareness there is, the better it is for everybody!



Clean your studio, store away personal items and valuables, & de-clutter.

Paint walls, hang art.

 Shop for non-perishable food and beverages.

Invite your neighbors. If they're not home, leave a postcard at their door!

Don't have a sandwich board? Make one!

Print your bio, artist statement, pricelists, & labels.

Make sure you have petty cash for making change.

E-mail your list - a reminder: "It's this weekend!"

FRIDAY – Opening Reception


Go out for coffee in the morning and bring your postcards to distribute.

Place your sandwich board or signage and balloons out front.

Arrange for a friend to relieve you during the day for a quick break. Don't forget to eat!

Downtime? Twitter or Facebook post about the day so far; take pictures with your visitors. If you're too busy, awesome!

Enjoy your guests. Breathe. Be brilliant.



Add new contacts to your mailing list and send them thank you letters.

Make notes of what worked and what didn't for your next Open Studios event.

Compile any data you may have gathered about how people heard about your Open Studio to use in planning your next marketing effort.

Go make more art!


 As part of the upcoming “Last Best Print Fest” the ZACC Printshop is hosting it’s eighth annual portfolio exchange. All printmakers are invited to submit an edition of 12 prints based on the theme "Lost and Found". Of the edition of twelve, ten of the prints will be redistributed to other participants in a random selection process. One print will be on display, in the ZACC Community Art Gallery, April 13th through May 4th, as part of LBPF exhibition/silent auction (a fundraiser for the ZACC Printshop). The last will be retained as part of a complete set for the ZACC Printshop Archive. 
For this exchange we invite you to interpret the theme "Lost and Found" as narrowly or broadly as you want and submit your strongest and most compelling print. 
The exchange is open to all printmakers. Editions should consist of twelve impressions numbered 1/12 to 12/12, using any archival material. If you cannot make it to the ZACC to pick up your portfolio in person, include a self addressed stamped envelope, big enough for ten 11 x 14 inch prints.
Paper size: 11” x 14” - prints can be full bleed
Edition size: 12; numbered 1/12 to 12/12 (no proofs or editions larger than 12)
Media: All forms of printmaking are accepted.
Labeling: In pencil, clearly print artist’s name, title, and media on the back of each print.
Prints must be the original artwork of the submitting artist, and must be dry at the time of submission. The portfolio organizers reserve the right to refuse entry of any submission that fails to conform to the portfolio guidelines.
To participate in the Portfolio Exchange we require that you register through Submittable by April 6th  2018. 
Due Date:
Portfolios will be due by April 6th. They can be submitted to The Zootown Arts Community Center, 235 North 1st. Missoula, MT. 59801.

Collated portfolios can be picked up on April 13th after 5:30 during our,  2nd Friday, Art Opening. Portfolios will be held at the ZACC for 1 month. All work that is not picked up in 1 month will be donated to the ZACC Print Shop.


April 13th -  Opening/Silent Auction  

Print Demo's at the ZACC times TBA

For more information contact Patricia Thornton at

The ZACC Gallery hosts a new artist each month, with an opening reception occurring each second Friday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

We have two gallery spaces optimal for artists.  

Our Main Gallery has a beautiful combination of a high ceilings, three crisp white walls, and a gorgeous brick wall with several windows that look out onto the railroad tracks. The 1500 square foot room has just the right ambiance for works of art and special events and has hosted many emerging and established artists over the years. Our Main Gallery doubles as our classroom space throughout the month, offering an array of viewers.

Our Hallway Gallery offers 2 crisp white walls and high ceilings. Our Hallway Gallery is one of the arterial pathways of the ZACC leading to our popular Paint Your Own Pottery studio as well as our Glass Fusing Studio.  Throughout the month works in the Hallway Gallery receive an eye-full by patrons, schools, and fellow artists.

Both galleries are uncurated, offering artists the chance to express themselves fully by choosing how to display their own work. We love artists who think outside the traditional and challenge the space to be used in different ways. We have had a graffiti artist spray paint our walls for an exhibition, a plexiglass installation, youth exhibitions as well as punk rock bands accompanying a traditional painter's work. We love group shows too. Our second Friday openings are always lively, vivid, and fun.

After Submitting you will receive an acceptance or a decline notification via email within one month of your submission date.  Depending on our existing shows and jury we may choose for you to showcase your work ether in the Hallway or the Main Gallery. 

Community Engagement - All artists are expected to present a gallery talk (or slide presentation) during the opening, or teach a two hr class in the discipling you are displaying the following Sat. Artist may do both. Artists supply all snacks and beverages.

Ends on July 31, 2018
The ZACC is always expanding our adult-ed offerings. If you have an idea for a class for our community art program and the skills to teach, please submit a proposal outlining your curriculum. We accept proposals for both evening and weekend workshops, and 5 week intensives. The ZACC is interested in workshops in a variety of disciplines including, visual, ceramic, sculpture, media, music, creative-writing, and drama. 

To provide leadership, governance, and oversight to the Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) in order to assure that the public’s interest are met and the mission fulfilled.


The ZACC is looking for creative, passionate, and strong community leaders to serve as volunteer board members. You must be willing to devote your time and energy to this dynamic and growing organization to help further our mission to deliver all ages arts education, foster sustainable community development, and promote accessible, life-enriching art experiences. We’re especially looking for individuals with financial experience, communications/marketing background, donor development, or previous board experience.