Wednesday, 17 September 2014 10:46

Studio tour an ideal way to discover southwest artists

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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A group photo of the artists from southwest Saskatchewan who will be participating in the 6th annual Highway 1 studio tour from Rush Lake to Herbert, Sept. 27 to 28. From left to right, back row:Myrna Gehl, Aird Romich, Donald Ferguson, Hedi Gossweiler, Krista Routledge. Front row, Carol Furman, Maria Enns, Sally Knelsen, April Bradley. Missing: Geoff Phillips, Connie Phillips, Randy Lawson, Grant Howg, Cindy Redekop and Holly Lightfoot. A group photo of the artists from southwest Saskatchewan who will be participating in the 6th annual Highway 1 studio tour from Rush Lake to Herbert, Sept. 27 to 28. From left to right, back row:Myrna Gehl, Aird Romich, Donald Ferguson, Hedi Gossweiler, Krista Routledge. Front row, Carol Furman, Maria Enns, Sally Knelsen, April Bradley. Missing: Geoff Phillips, Connie Phillips, Randy Lawson, Grant Howg, Cindy Redekop and Holly Lightfoot.

A relaxed, self-guided tour off the beaten path during the Culture Days weekend will reward those who want to learn more about the talented artists of southwest Saskatchewan.


The 6th annual Highway 1 Studio Tour takes place Sept. 27-28 and this year’s event promises even more opportunities for interaction with the 15 participating artists.
Hedi Gossweiler, who is one of the founding members and current co-ordinator of the Highway 1 Studio Tour, said there are a number of changes to this year’s event.
“It’s bigger and better every year, and kind of different every year too,” she mentioned. “It’s a week later than other years, in conjunction with Culture Days.”
Culture Days is an annual, three-day national event to increase the participation of Canadians in arts and cultural life. The studio tour is a perfect fit.
“What we have also this year, because of Culture Days, at each stop we have hands on activities if people want to try out a craft,” she said. “The studio tour is all about culture. That’s another thing why I wanted to tie it in and of course the advantage to get a grant and they help us to advertise.”
The original tour took people from Rush Lake to Mortlach. This year’s event will be over the shortest distance with stops between Rush Lake and Herbert.
“It's less driving but we still have the same amount of artists,” she said. “So we have bigger clusters and people like that. They don’t have to drive that far.”
The four stops on the tour are Carol Furman’s pottery studio in Rush Lake, the Lone Eagle Motel in Herbert where Gossweiler’s studio is located, the train station in Herbert where light lunches will be available for purchase and New Leaf Studio of fabric artist Maria Enns, which is located about 14 kilometres south of Herbert.
The number of artists have been at 15 for a few years, but there are different ones each time.
“It’s kind of nice to get new and different ones,” she said. “Usually it’s just the diehards like me and Carol in Rush Lake. We are like the points where people stop, and then we get the guest artists in and we move them around. It makes it a little bit more exciting.”
An important aim of the studio tour is to provide exposure to artists from across southwest Saskatchewan.
“We would invite people from other areas if they have something really interesting and something that draws people, but over the last six years they’ve always been from the southwest,” she said.
Six of the artists in this year’s studio tour are new participants. Swift Current’s Donald Ferguson and Herbert’s Krista Routledge are both nature photographers while Routledge also creates jewelry. Ferguson will be at the pottery studio in Rush Lake and Routledge at the Herbert CPR train station.
Swift Current’s Sally Knelsen is a landscape painter with works in private collections across Canada and also a collection in Mexico.
Her art will be on display at the train station.
Swift Current blacksmith Aird Romich will display his metal art at the schoolhouse next to the Herbert train station and visitors will have an opportunity to use the blacksmith’s hammer.
Two of the new artists will be at New Leaf Studio. Myrna Gehl from Hodgeville creates stoneware miniatures and porcelain paintings and Grant Howg of Prelate paints prairie scenes on pieces of drywall.
The third artist at New Leaf Studio is Maria Enns, who uses a variety of post-consumer materials to create practical and artistic products such as notebooks, pillow covers and other mixed media items.
The returning artists at the Herbert train station include painters Geoff and Connie Phillips from Maple Creek, who will give visitors a chance to create their own circle art. The other artists at this stop are Swift Current mixed media artist Cindy Redekop, who creates crocheted wire artwork, and Randy Lawson from Bracken, who produces custom frames from reclaimed barn wood.
The two artists at Lone Eagle Motel are alpaca fibre artist Hedi Gossweiler and quilter Holly Lightfoot. Visitors will be able to interact with alpacas from Gossweiler’s farm, do needle felting and learn more about the process to create products from raw fibre. Lightfoot’s large quilt shop truck will be parked at the motel to display her intricate designs.
At the Rush Lake stop the functional and sculptural pottery of Carol Furman will be on display and visitors will be able to play with clay, make a thumb bowl or form a figurine. The other artist at this stop is Swift Current’s April Bradley, who will present her unique bison horn jewelry as well as rock paintings and crocheted animals.
According to Gossweiler the popularity of the studio tour continues to grow each year because people are looking for something to do locally and for the artists the event is an opportunity to showcase their work.
“Artists have a chance to show them where they live, where the art is done, where and how they get inspired to do the art,” she said. “It’s a chance to showcase their stuff in the studio tour because quite a few live out in the country and because this is organized for one weekend, they have a chance to show and sell their stuff too.”
There will be an opportunity to win 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.
On Sunday afternoon the Swift Current band Creek City will perform from 1-3 p.m. The Highway 1 studio tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 27 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 28. Follow the black and pink studio tour signs from Highway 1 and there will also be pink ribbons to guide visitors to the stops.
For more details, visit the website www.highway1studiotour.ca.

Read 1748 times Last modified on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 17:32

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