Jeff Green | Aug 25, 2005
Feature Article - August 25
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Feature ArticleAugust 25, 2005
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2005 Inroads Studio Tour
Just because summer is ending doesn’t have to mean there is no more fun to be had. Labour Day Weekend marks the beginning of the studio tour season in Eastern Ontario with the arrival of the venerable Inroads Studio Tour.Now 13 years old, the tour features a couple of dozen of the finest artist and artisans around, working in media as diverse as oil paint, willow, ceramics, silver, wood, batik, wool, glass, and print. Being a studio tour, the locations where the art is found are major attractions as well. From a renovated mill (the home of Susan and Ron Wulf - glass and silver artists) of Bridesmill Studio, and the historic Bradshaw Shoolhouse (hosting Mavis and Mickie - carvings and paintings) near Tichborne, to the old Frontenac Creamery (studio of painter and photographer Fred Fowler) on the Mississippi River at Snow Road, the studios themselves are as diverse as the artists.There is a third element to the tour, and that is the landscape itself, which both inspires and creates a context for the work of the artists and artisans who make up the Inroads Studio Tour. Arden and Henderson are the western end of the tour, which extends as far east as Maberly, north to Snow Road/Elphin/McDonalds Corners, and South to Parham/Tichborne and Bobs Lake. As tour goers drive the Inroads of the tour, they will experience views of the rocky granite shorelines of dozens of lakes on this southern outcrop of the Canadian Shield.Some of the artistic highlights of the tour this year include a display of batiks from around the world at Arden Batik, the studio of one of the tour’s founders, Sarah Hale. This past June, Sarah, who has been working in batik for 27 years, attended a ten day conference in Boston that featured batik artists from 36 different countries. Sarah is creating an exhibit of batiks and batiking equipment that she acquired at the conference, and some new pieces of her own that have come about in response to the experience. These include some Japanese style indigo batiks, as well as a batik-on-paper book that Sarah is working on. Over in McDonald’s Corners, the Clayworks Potters, a group of very keen apprentice potters, will be showing at MERA, a community arts facility which has developed a ceramics studio. A ploughman’s lunch and the MERA weaving studio make the trip to ‘the corners’ worthwhile.While in that neck of the woods, a stop at Fred Fowlers’ studio will afford an opportunity to see how this versatile painter/printmaker, interpreter of Canadian landscapes, has added the medium of photography to his repertoire. Paul Shuster is a “painterly photographer” whose photographic prints are embedded in canvas, will be showing at the studio of Jack and Carol de Bellefeuille. These are but a few of the 26 artists who will showing at this year’s tour, in 20 studios.The Inroads Studio Tour Brochure, available at tourist kiosks and businesses throughout the region, includes descriptions and pictures from the work of the artists and artisans on the tour, and a map of the main roads and back roads that link them. Information from the brochure, including the studio tour map, is available online at the Inroads Studio Tour website.As an added feature, there will be mystery guests showing at some of the tours stops. Jo Crivellaro will be selling mosaic tile tables at studio 17. The Bradshaw Schoolhouse (Studio 9) will be hosting three new artists, Carol Brazeau, a soapstone carver from Clarence Creek (east of Ottawa), Judy Buchanan of Dogstar Trading Co., who makes beaded jewelry, and Tiny Komendat, a modern painter. On Saturday the 4th of September, the Bedford Fire Dept., next door to the schoolhouse, will be offering a barbeque and safety demonstrations. Catherine Koch is a mixed media based visual arts student. Her recent work has focussed on the meaning that she finds in the patterns of ordinary life. She will be a guest a the studio of printaker Martina Field, #8. The tour is self guided and there is no admission charge; people can start anywhere and follow their own path. It runs from 10-5 throughout Labour Day Weekend, September 3-5. For further information all 335-2073.