Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:37

Easy to discover artists during Highway 1 studio tour

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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There are talented artists in communities across southwest Saskatchewan, but it is not always easy for art lovers to explore their work.

The 5th annual Highway 1 studio tour Sept. 21-22 will give people an opportunity to visit the studios of a number of artists between Rush Lake and Morse, where they will be able to see the work of 15 artists and also talk to them.
Hedi Gossweiler, who is one of the founding members of the Highway 1 studio tour, said it is a good way to experience diverse art forms.
“People are just excited to see something like this local going on and they’re surprised how many very talented people we have right in our back yard,” she mentioned. “Some people aren’t really known very well and the nice thing is too they can come into our environment and see what we are doing instead of being set up at trade shows.”
In addition to involving a mix of artists, the aim is to have participation from across the region and to highlight the work of artists that people might not be familiar with.
“We really like to get kind of the closet artists out and to expose them, but sometimes it’s hard to find them,” she said. “But we have a nice variety and most of them are Saskatchewan Craft Council juried artists. It says that they are very good artists.”
For the artists the studio tour is not only an opportunity to increase their visibility, but they are also able to sell their art work.
“People don’t know them but since they’re doing the studio tour they get to know them,” she said. “And people do buy. Sometimes they don’t buy on the studio tour, but later on during the year they remember that.”
This self-guided tour will take people to five different stops and at each location a number of artists will be present.
The tour starts at the Rush Lake studio of potter Carol Furman. Also present here will be Swift Current mixed media artist Cindy Redekop, who creates one-of-a-kind designs, and Waldeck visual artist Fern Rempel, who is a natural colourist with a distinct style.
The next stop will be at the Orange Tree Design Studio of Marsha Schuld, a visual artist who works in drawing, painting, printmaking and needle arts. To get there involves a few kilometres of driving on a gravel road, but Gossweiler said it is worth the trip.
“It’s really neat, she studio she has, and then she has very good artists there too,” she mentioned.
The other two artists at this stop are both from Swift Current. Laurie Wagner is a dollmaker who is inspired by fantasy, folklore and historical fashion. David Tuttle creates in different ways, from drawings and canvas paintings to geometric pattern paintings on paper with gouache and even kites.
The next two stops along the tour will be in Herbert. At the Lone Eagle Motel the work of Gossweiler, who is an alpaca fibre artist, will be on display. At the Herbert train station there will be an opportunity to enjoy a light lunch and to so see the work of four artists.
Two new participants in this year’s tour will be at the train station. April Bradley creates jewelry from bison horn, paintings and crochet work. She is inspired by the prairie and the animals she grew up with on the family farm near Swift Current. Bracken artist Randy Lawson creates frames from barn wood.
The other participants at the train station stop are acclaimed landscape artist Ken Christopher, whose works have been included in important art collections across Canada, and Maria Ens from the Herbert area, who is a mixed media artist.
The final tour stop south of Morse is at the Wildflower Acres Gallery and Gift Barn of fused glass artist Vickie Phillips. The other participants at this stop are Swift Current polymer clay artist Elaine Robitaille, Maple Creek artist Geoff Philips who creates contemporary oil paintings and Swift Current’s Marg Wiebe, who is a watercolour painter and photographer.
There will be an opportunity to win some prizes during the tour. A passport booklet can be used at each stop to collect stamps or signatures. It can be turned in at the final stop for a chance to win a collection of art from the tour artists.
Alpacas will be on display at the Lone Eagle Motel stop, including a young alpaca that needs a name. There will be a contest to name the baby alpaca with a prize for the winning entry.
On Sunday afternoon there will be a drumming performance at the Herbert train station by well-known aboriginal artist Carol Daniels, who is one of four “animateurs” for this year’s national Culture Days celebrations in Saskatchewan at the end of this month.
The 5th annual Highway 1 studio tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Sept. 21 and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22. For more details, visit the website

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