The Red Deer Arts Council will be hosting its first ever Open Studio Tour on June 25th.
Organizers have partnered with nine visual artists in seven studios who will open their doors to their private studios from 1-4 p.m. and welcome the public to see the process of creating fine art.
“We’re quite excited about it – I think it’s just going to be dynamite,” said Diana Anderson of the Council. “Way back when Art Walk was functioning, we used to do a bus tour that usually took in one studio. We would do the downtown core and some galleries, so it was a gallery tour that often included one studio.
“Our visual arts community has also said that since Art Walk is gone, that tour has been missing from Red Deer for awhile,” she said.
As to this year’s tour, Anderson noted the Council had been talking about doing something along these lines for awhile. “It seemed like a good opportunity to jump on that bandwagon while many of our artist members are home.”
From sculpted clay to sculpted metal, molten glass to molten gold, the techniques and works of some of Red Deer’s most recognized professional artists will be on display for visitors. This self-guided tour is free of charge.
Anderson said visitors can download or print a tour guide that includes a map to help find all the studios and artist biographies are available as well.
The artists will not only demonstrate the processes they use, but take questions about their media, style, technique or anything related to art. “You can stay and watch them create the whole thing, or stay for 15 or 20 minutes and then go off to see another. Each artist, with the demonstrations, will still be talking with the public. They want to interact.
“We’re also hoping some sales might be made, too!
“We’re also hoping that this becomes and annual thing and that we can grow it into maybe a two-day event,” she said, adding that it wasn’t a problem attracting local artists to the project. “They were very, very forthcoming.”
Meanwhile, on this year’s tour, each studio is also offering a door prize for visitors.
The draw will take place at a reception at Centennial Stage, 4816 – 50th Ave. (Alley entrance behind the Scott Block). Tour visitors are invited to RSVP to the Arts Council by June 20th by phone at 403-348-2787 to be eligible for this special reception.
As Anderson mentioned, for those who don’t want to rely on the luck of the draw to acquire some fine art, artists will also have their wares available for sale, making this a fantastic opportunity to purchase pieces that aren’t normally available in local venues.
The downloadable/printable map and brochure is available on the Arts Council web site https://reddeerartscouncil.wordpress.com/ or facebook page or through the City of Red Deer Culture Services.
Participating studios in the tour include Candice Meyer of Candice Meyer Jewelry (4309 Grandview Blvd). She creates unique sterling silver and 14k gold-overlay jewelry in the basement studio of her house.
She will be transforming wire and metal from its rough state through the creative idea to finished jewelry pieces.
Sally Towers-Sybblis of Sally’s Gallery (#5 Wright Ave.) is a mixed-media artist who incorporates lettering into her work, and is a self-published author of The Circle Club – a journey of hope and healing which features her artwork.
She will be demonstrating contemporary calligraphy methods using a folded metal pen and Sharpie marker.
Shirley Rimer of Works in Clay (24 Springfield Ave.) hand-builds sculptural works as well as producing wheel-thrown pottery. She will demonstrate how to wheel-throw a variety of items including mugs, bowls, pitchers and lidded containers.
Darren and Deborah Petersen of Sparrow Glassworks (5331 44 Ave.) are also on the tour. Darren is a professional glass artisan and has exhibited work across North America. He will demonstrate ‘hot fusing’ of Murrini glass canes with a torch and a reheating kiln.
Darcy Gusse Edinga of Silk Concepts (152 Allwright Close) creates luxurious, vibrant hand-painted silk artwork, including scarves, garments, banners, and prints. She will be painting fireweed on silk.
Trenton Thomas Leach and Holly Elliott of Rogue Art and Design (4026 50th St.) design and create primarily one of a kind sculpture, mosaics and interior/exterior design pieces for individuals, commercial and public enjoyment. They will be working on a multimedia piece incorporating metal, glass and photography, and Holly will exhibit the different media on which she prints photos.
Suzanne Le Beau of Spirit of Clay Ceramics (30 Manning St.) is a local ceramic artist whose work is mostly hand-built and poured molds that have been altered and carved into. She will demonstrate her techniques for carving in clay to enhance the depth and texture of glaze.
For more information, call the Red Deer Arts Council at 403-348-2787 or check out https://reddeerartscouncil.wordpress.com.