By Ewa Chowjko-Srawley
The Georgina Studio Tour, founded 29 years ago by local artist Catherine Babick, continues to thrive and expand. This year, 41 artists welcomed visitors at 25 locations on September 23 & 24.
Most of the artists are regular participants, including some who have been with the tour from the beginning. One is Paul Harpley, a wildlife painter.
“This is a perfect occasion to connect with the community. My studio is off the road, so I am glad I can exhibit together with my daughter, Janet Harpley-Aco, at her Keswick studio,” he says.
Given Georgina’s area of almost 300 square kilometres, driving around can take time… This year most artists opted to group together at easily accessible locations.
For example, Kristina Moraru and Galina Nikita showcased their work at ‘Michelle’s Framing Shop.’ Moraru says, “We are lucky we can exhibit here. We had a steady flow of visitors all weekend!”
Barbara Banfield, the Tour Chair, and a renowned pottery artist, points out that while it’s more convenient if artists exhibit together, visitors – especially from out of town – also enjoy touring more remote places of Georgina.
She says, “This event is an opportunity for reuniting with family and friends and doing the tour together. It’s heartwarming to see the growing trend of locals introducing their guests to the Tour.”
Although there are no formal statistics, artists said they had hosted visitors from all corners of Ontario, including Hamilton, Rockcliffe, and Guelph.
The Tour not only has regular artists, but also regular visitors.
Anne Brodie, a loyal attendee, says, “I come every year, and always start with Deb Banfield. Her artwork always inspires me. Her creations are not just pieces of art but also functional, and today I couldn’t resist purchasing a beautiful, hand-painted pillow.”
Deb Banfield adds, “Each year I introduce new techniques, ensuring that even returning guests discover something novel. I do knitting, quilting, painting, artistic glasswork, and this year, I showcased painted fabric.”
The Tour offers a wide range of artwork, and it keeps expanding. This year, Jinhee Yang who recently moved to Georgina, presented artistic mobiles.
She comments, “I moved here from a big city, and my artwork changed. I am now more inspired by the surroundings: the lake, the river, the fields…”
The Tour happens only once a year, but our talented artists are here year-round, and would love to stay in touch! Visit the website and connect with them: https://georginastudiotour.com/category/2023-artists/
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