Santa Barbara art lovers can join in the “treasure hunt” known as the 2009 Mesa Artists Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday.

The annual event is a relaxed way for residents and visitors to explore scenic Santa Barbara Mesa byways and see the lifestyles and works of 12 award-winning artists who are members of the Santa Barbara Mesa Artists. Their studios will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The self-guided tour is free and open to the public.

For the first time since the artists started opening their home studios to the public seven years ago, an official Mesa Artists Studio Tour guide is online for viewing and downloading. The guide includes a map with easy-to-follow directions to each studio and full-color examples of each artist’s work. Click here for the guide and for more information.

The tour continues the nearly 100-year-old tradition of resident-artists on the Santa Barbara Mesa. The unique neighborhood with its winding lanes and hillside panorama of the ocean has been the home and inspiration of such famed Western painters as Thomas Moran, Carl Oscar Borg and Edward Borein.

The professional artists hosting the 2009 Mesa Artists Studio Tour event span the art spectrum, from the contemporary to traditional, and employ many different media. They are Karin Aggeler, Jamee Aubrey, Susan Belloni, Deborah Breedon, Sarah Carr, Ron Freese, Morgan Green, Larry Iwerks, Margaret Nadeau, Erin Williams, Paige Wilson and Ellen Yeomans.

Brochures that include the artists’ statements and samples of their work also can be picked up at each participating studio, and are available at many downtown and Mesa businesses. To receive a brochure and map, contact Ellen Yeomans at 805.962.5619 or Morgan Green at 805.698.3982.

Click here for more information.

— Morgan Green is a member of the Santa Barbara Mesa Artists.