UXBRIDGE: An amazing group of local artists are opening up their homes to the public this weekend.
The 2016 Uxbridge Studio Tour is this Saturday, Sept. 17th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 18th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The Uxbridge Studio Tour is a chance to visit 27 studio sites (sort of like a choose your own adventure game), many with additional guest artists; to explore the home and property that inspires them; and to give the public an opportunity to speak with, and ask questions of, the various artists. Including guest artists, there are close to 100 different artists to visit on the tour.
The tour is a great fun-filled day for all ages, and many sites are also wheelchair accessible. The idea of entering an artist’s domain, their studio, seeing firsthand where they get their inspiration, and how they work, can be very inspiring in itself, and offers a much deeper experience than an art gallery can.
Some of the wide varieties of art included on the tour this year were created by: painters, blacksmiths, carpenters, sculptors, photographers, quilt makers, and potters. There is something for everyone included on the tour.
The Studio Tour is currently in its 31st year. It was first started to allow local artists an opportunity to formally get together, and share common experiences with like-minded people. They never thought it would grow into such a successful weekend event, attracting visitors from outside of Uxbridge and helping to support the local community.
The Standard was favoured enough to get a private tour of long-time site artist, Judy Bear’s home studio. Judy Bear is a painter and a local math teacher, that works primarily in oil. She has been involved with the Uxbridge Studio Tour since the early years of the event. “I can expect around 250 to 300 visitors. Some artists, can expect well over 1000,” said Ms. Bear.
Not only does the tour provide the public with an opportunity, to explore the minds of some of the best artists in the province, but it also provides Uxbridge with several opportunities, to expose tourists to the wonderful trail system, and the local businesses the town has to offer.
The Studio Tour is working with local food emporiums, one being 'Frankie’s Restaurant'. Frankie’s will be offering tourists a wide variety of baked goods, as well as a sit-down menu. 'The Passionate Cook' will be serving a special selection of fine handmade cheese on toast. Both places are located on Brock St., in the centre of town. This year, the Studio Tour is also glad to welcome, 'The Second Wedge Brewing Company' to the tour, who will be offering local craft beer. The Second Wedge is located on the west side of the centre of town.
One of the things that stuck with me when speaking to artist Judy Bear, was her explanation of how she is inspired to create such beautiful works of art. “My art is a constant attempt to say, what is it that has made me just stop in awe.” The Studio Tour provides the public, and other artists, the chance to see a different perspective of the world, one that can lead to great things. “In the last five years, Arts and Culture has been the number one employer in Durham Region,” said Ms. Bear.
Each site artist also had the opportunity to invite a guest artist or two to their site to add to the experience. For example, Judy Bear is welcoming stone carver, Gordon Reidt, and 20-year old metal artist, Jasmine Rutschmann, an artist previously featured by the Standard. Ms. Bear mentioned she wanted to feature some younger artists on the tour this year, to offer new ideas and experiences.
Of course, artists are open to selling some of their works of art, so the tour is also a great chance to take home a one of a kind piece of work, before the end of summer, but that is not their main focus.
Please take a look through the Uxbridge Studio Tour Brochure for a map of the different studio sites. For more information visit their website, at www.uxbridgestudiotour.com. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram @UxbridgeStudioTour.
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