Artists strut their wares for annual tour 0
More than 70 artists in South Georgian Bay will open their studios, galleries, and homes this weekend for the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Studio and Art Tour.
The tour will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday until Sunday at 41 locations in Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Thornbury, Clarksburg, Duntroon, Glen Huron, Pretty River Valley, and the Beaver Valley.
Jennifer Macnaughton, past chair of the BMFA board of directors and studio tour committee member, said the studio tour has run since 1987 and is one of the foundation's signature events.
"Essentially, it is to help local artists promote their work and bring the public to them - help artists get their name out there," said Macnaughton.
The BFMA Art Centre will exhibit examples of all 73 artists' work from June 1-26.
Macnaughton suggests the art centre, located at 163 Hurontario St., is good place to start the tour.
She said the Collingwood library, the museum, the Tremont, The Huron Club, and the Cheese Gallery in Thornbury, will house artists who don't have studio space or are too far out of the way to be on the tour.
Macnaughton says the tour spans a larger geographical area this year, and has added about 20 artists.
Terese Connolly, tour committee member and stained glass artist, has been in the studio tour since 2005.
"People who come will just be overwhelmed with the quality of the work," said Connolly about all the artists on the tour.
"It's a really nice weekend - it's exhausting," said Connolly, who will be hosting two other artists at her home studio, Suite Fixings Stained Glass Studio.
"It's a chance to hear people's comments, talk to other artists, to exchange ideas," she said, adding it's a bonus if you make a few sales.
Connolly will be demonstrating her craft at her Beech Street studio.
"I really like to show people the process," she said. She has also encouraged her students to come and work at the studio during the tour.
Connolly said she loves teaching, especially because it "motivates" and "inspires" her.
Connolly has been working with stained glass for more than 20 years. She said it takes between 60 and 80 hours to finish one panel: to draw the design, cut the glass pieces, grind the edges, wrap them with copper foil, and solder them together.
The exhibit at the Art Centre will display a piece she created for the tour called Eye of the Colour Wheel. She said this piece, comprised of small, detailed, colourful glass, took between 80 and 100 hours to create.
"I wanted something that really popped out," she said about the exhibition piece.
"I try to do flashy pieces for arts shows, just to make it more interesting for people."
M.J. Jones, another artist on the art tour and committee member, says she has been painting non-stop since moving to the area in 2007.
The retired principal said the area has "a fine selection of artists."
Jones will be showing her watercolour and acrylic paintings at her home at 137 Grand Cypress Ln. in The Blue Mountains.
"I love (painting) water and I love playing with light. Other than that, I paint what moves me," said Jones, who often paints from her own photographs.
"I never know what I'm going to do next."
It's everything from soup to nuts," said Jones, who has paintings of skiers, canoes, marbles, a foggy forest, and close-ups of flowers hanging in her home.
She says watercolour painting is time-consuming and she can make larger acrylic paintings in the same amount of time.
She said each acrylic painting takes at least three sittings, one for each layer of paint, and she can complete about three painting a month, especially when it is raining.
"I like the way I can work with the colours with acrylic - they can be intense."
An electronic version of the tour brochure can be found on the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts website.