The Chatham Artists Guild (CAG) is an organization of visual artists whose mission is to:
- Raise awareness and appreciation for the visual arts’ cultural and economic contribution to the community
- Create connections between artists in order to share resources and ideas
- Educate the community and cultivate new artists and new patrons.
In 2017, The Chatham Artists Guild celebrated 25 years of bringing Art to the people of North Carolina. The Guild’s annual Studio Tour is our signature event. It is one of the oldest in the State, a prototype for other area studio tours, and a highly respected art venue.
Membership is for visual artists 18 and older who live and work in Chatham County. Learn more about becoming a member.
A Short History
When it was first founded in 1992, the Studio Tour was one of the many programs of the Chatham Arts Council (CAC), which is the local designated county partner of the NC Arts Council. Under the direction of Cathy Holt it was called “The Chatham County Open Studio Tour.” Cathy was troubled that the many artists throughout Chatham County did not know each other. Nor did the community in Chatham County know them. The creation of an Open Studio Tour was her remedy.
Although the Tour was developed by CAC, it had always been self-funded by the artists through subscriptions and sponsorships. Several years after it’s inception, the Tour became independent. And in 2005, these artists decided to form a Guild so they could continue their work with other foundations and non-profits, and seek grants to help sustain the organization. The Guild was awarded its 501(c)3 status in 2007 through the diligent work of artist/member Leslie Palmer.
Today the membership of the Guild is comprised of some 60-70 visual artists living and working in Chatham County. The Guild renews itself each year by inviting all artists living and working in Chatham County to apply for membership.