The Uxbridge Studio Tour is now in it’s twenty-sixth year, and going through one of it’s periods of change and renewal. We’ve changed up our brochure; are moving on some new ways and some new technology to promote the tour. You can now buy fabulous new Studio Tour gift certificates from Blue Heron Books and Kensington Silver studios. And the Artists: the artists who make up the tour have changed some too. We’ve said goodbye to some good friends this year in good ways: the painter Doug Boutilier moved to the East coast; and in very sad ways – this year we are without photographer Vanessa Perry who lost her battle with brain cancer and is sadly missed. On the other hand, artists move into the area, and sometimes artists who have been here for a long time decide that they would like to apply to join the tour. The 2011 Tour has three new site artists and even more new guest artists.
Ken Nice, Max Kalinowski and Samantha Turnbull are our new site artists, and we extended our map a little to the north to bring in the hamlet of Wilfrid where you will find Ken Nice. A very accomplished sculptor and painter, he sculpts in metal and stone as well as painting delicious landscapes. Nature is his main theme, and animals a particular passion when it comes to his sculpture. Moving south, you will find Samatha Turnbull just north of Vallentyne. She is officially the youngest site artist on the tour, a recent MFA graduate of CalArts (the school set up by Walt Disney), her paintings are bold and hot portraits of famous and infamous rock stars, check out the video on her page of the Uxbridge Studio Tour website (www.uxbridgestudiotour.com) to see her at work. Into Sutherland, and the Yerema Weafer clan has added the next generation with multimedia artist Katrina Weafer, her works are mysterious and thought-provoking, combining layers of images and text, tone and texture.
Moving down Durham 23, and taking the turn to Francis Muscat’s site, you will find new guest artist Vanessa Slater, some of you will remember her richly hued and clean lined pottery from previous years at Art in the Park and other places, and it is great to see her back behind the creative wheel again, after a short ‘respite’ wrangling the youth of Uxbridge. Veering to the East but still heading south, there are new guest artists at Saundra Reiner’s site and at Lynne McIlvride Evans. Saundra is featuring Jennifer Ross, a painter who works in dry pastel to create evocative urban images, and Gordon Ross, a photographer who also works with architectural themes. Lynne McIlvride Evan’s guest artist is a good friend of mine, Linda Wiebe, and you would think that would give me a direct line into what she is planning, but she is being very cagey: here is what I have gleaned: it is an installation, a tree or a representation of a tree may or may not be part of it, and poetry – her passion – is involved. Knowing Linda, it will be fascinating and well worth the treck, (which you would make anyway, to see Lynne and Andrews’ new work,) but be gentle – Linda is very shy…
At this point on the new artist review, we head into Uxbridge – or just south along the 7th Concession – to find the last new site artist: Max Kalinowski. Max started his career as a photographer in Poland, but has been painting vibrant abstracts in acrylics, drawing on his wide-ranging travel experiences and creating paintings which reflect changing socio-political circumstances. These paintings are wild! a great new addition to the Tour. Max also has brought in an amazing photographer as a new guest artist: Marni Grossman, who has had an extensive career working in the film industry, but has been turning her lens increasingly onto subjects in Nature, finding the abstract beauty in natural forms, as well as some stunning wildlife photography.
Carol Hendry is a new artist guesting with Hanneke Koonstra, her expertise is oil landscapes which are lush and dare I say- romantic? This is a great pairing of fine landscape artists. Moving to the deep south of the township, stop in at my own site to see the fascinating work of an artist new to the tour and new to Uxbridge: Erica Gajewski. Her work is an extensive study of animals, specifically the native and endangered fauna of North America. Her work is conceptually based, but from my point of view, I have a stunning lifesize drawing of a polar bear presiding over my living room this week – not to be missed.
Those are the new faces on the tour and there are a lot this year, but as always, there are great new works to be seen at each site, from artists who have been on the tour for many a year, and I know many of you check back at your favourite sites year after year to see what we have been up to. Rumour has it that new concrete is curing at the Tinkl’s; fans of Lynn Bishop and Tom Loachs’ work can find them at their new house and location (not far from the old location); Daniel Colby has been living in Montreal for a few months now – that must mean a new direction. My own guest artists have blown me away this year with their new work: Lots of great visual and sensual experiences up and down and around the whole Township and a bit beyond – we all look forward to seeing you this weekend, and feel free to bring some new faces along too.
As appeared in The Cosmos