Artists preparing for annual fall tour

Thirty-six professional art­ists will open their studios to the public this fall for the 2009 Elora Fergus Studio Tour.

The tour offers the public a unique glimpse into the work­ing life of artists as varied as glass blowers and landscape painters, with just about every type of art form and visual media represented.

It is all located in the scenic and historic Centre Wellington – all the studios are within easy driving distance and many within walking distance of each other.

“The Elora-Fergus area has a wealth of artistic talent that you can sample through the studio tour’s two weekends,” says tour co-chairman Barry McCarthy, a renowned land­scape painter who has been on the tour for more than 20 years.

“You’ll find artists as diverse as internationally known painters Tim Murton and Joel Masewich, batik artist Linda Risacher Copp, glass artists like Stephen Kitras and Jerre Davidson, and Supria Kar­makar who creates en­caustic collages,” McCarthy said.

Textiles, oil, and water­colour painting, metalwork, clay sculpture, artistic jewel­lery, and photography are all represented on the tour.

The tour has grown from a “trial run” of 12 to 14 parti­cipants in 1987 to the 36 on this year’s tour – the 2008 tour feat­ured 28 artists.

This year, sev­eral artists are new to the tour – including internationally re­nowned wedding photographer Davide Greene, jeweller Carla Drimmie, and garden art cre­ator Bob Hill.

The tour has become “a trademark for the community,” Centre Wellington Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj said at the June 9 official launch of this year’s tour brochure, which lists all 36 participating artists and has directions to their studios.

“I can’t tell you how much we enjoy the studio tour,” she said. “So many people have caught onto our studio tour and make it a destination.”

The studio tour is one of the area’s best-kept secrets and one of the best self-guided tours in the area, said Elora and Fergus tourism co-ordinator Deb Dal­ziel, who added it’s a “perfect anchor” for fall tourism in the area. “This has always been an amazing event,” she said.

The Elora Fergus Studio Tour runs 10am to 6pm Sept. 26 and 27 and Oct. 3 and 4.