Every year, for over 20 years, the city of London has benefited from an annual free tour of artists’ studios. Many of the studios are in the artists’ homes so you get to see some lovely abodes in the bargain. They all also provide free refreshments – admittedly of varying qualities, some home-made and some not. It must be noted though, that since these studios are located in people’s homes, they are not wheelchair accessible and often involve stairs to get into the home and sometimes in the home as well as their wares are often on display on more than one level in the home.
It was a lovely day when I did the tour and it was nice to drive around the various neighbourhoods in the city and see the spring flowers and trees in bloom. I’ve attended another tour in Muskoka, cottage country in Ontario, in the fall a number of times but this is the first spring tour I’ve done.
This year there were 37 artists included in the tour and I managed to get to 18 of them in one day. The selection of artists is juried. The tour runs from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. All the locations are detailed in a brochure which includes a blurb about each artist and a sample of their work and maps of the various neighbourhoods to help guide you along your way. The artists range from painters (on silk, canvas; water colour, oils, pastels, ink) to sculptors, to photographers, to wood or metal workers, to potters, to textile workers and mixed media artists. Depending on when you arrive, you may be treated to a demonstration of the artist at work. In any case, the artists are on hand to answer any questions you have about their work.
If you are ever in London during the spring, it is worth checking out. You will see some interesting artwork and you may even be tempted to buy. There is a wide range of sizes and prices of work including some that are reproduced on greeting cards or small prints. I bought a couple of Christmas presents, yes, I’ve started that shopping. I also now have my eye on some artists for a couple of larger pieces I still want to get to finish decorating my new home.