Elora Fergus Spring Open Studios: beauty inside and out

ELORA – Elora Fergus Spring Open Studios opened its doors on May 11 and 12. 

Now in its third year, the self-guided tour provided art lovers an opportunity to enjoy beauty inside and outside of the studios.

Marquetry artist Stephen Haig works strictly with wood. The process dates back thousands of years and requires exacting skill. Haig creates designs using several different sheets of thin wood. 

The grounds around Haig’s Imagine Studio and Gallery in Elora are bright and inviting, and inside, Haig is happy to show guests, like Jancinthe Andette his artistic process.

Andette, who lives in Brampton, said she always comes to the Elora Fergus Studio Tour in the fall. When she heard about the spring tour, she wanted to bring her daughter Stephanie Toms to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“I love coming here. There are so many artists in one location, it’s phenomenal,” Andette said. 

“It’s a small show, compared to the fall show,” Haig said. “But it’s important to get things out, to get them shown.” 

Creativity inside and out – The Elora Fergus Spring Open Studios self-guided tour brought locals and visitors out to artist studios on Mother’s Day weekend. Marquetry artist Stephen Haig’s Imagine Studio and Gallery was a popular location. Photos by Lorie Black

Haig and 10 other artists on the spring tour are also part of the fall tour, said artist Grayce Perry, who helps organize the spring show. 

“We are not associated with the fall show. But we are all from it. There’s a certain calibre of artists, but we don’t have to jury them in,” said Perry.

She works in mixed media, painting and sculpture. For her Gateway Series, she starts with Japanese paper.

“I will probably always continue doing this series. It’s the idea that we all have wounds,” she said.

“So, I prepare the paper ahead of time and then cut it out with an Exacto knife, and then burn holes in the paper. Then I repair it with gold. The idea is that all our wounds are gateways for our true strength and beauty.”

Marquetry – Sea turtle marquetry piece by Stephen Haig. Photo by Lorie Black

Perry invited fellow artist, silversmith Laurie Stevenson Bullock of TruForm Jewelry Design in Belwood to show her work in Perry’s home studio.

Bullock works free form; nothing is created from molds. She often uses elements like torch-fired enamel, gold, copper and sterling, and repurposed items like pewter trays, in her work. 

She has a tribal series with “animals like sea turtles, owls, coyotes and bears. Everybody seems to like the bears,” Bullock said.  

“It’s been really steady today. People come in and see your work, and chat about your work. How fabulous is that?”