By AMANDA GIBB
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Beach Studio Tour, and the fall event will run from Friday, Oct. 25, to Sunday, Oct. 27.
The Beach Studio Tour is the longest artist-led studio tour in the city, and features 19 artists in 13 locations scattered across the Beach area.
“One thing that’s unique about us is that all of our locations are in either the private homes or private studios of our artists. We open our doors and trust the community, and welcome them in to see our space,” said Rachel Taggart.
Taggart is a painter who has participated in the Beach Studio Tour for about 10 years.
She said that the event is cooperatively run by all of the participating artists, including getting sponsors and promoting the event.
Taggart said that the tour will feature a variety of work like painting, photography, jewelry, sculptures, glasswork and ceramics, woven clothing, and fashion designers.
“We usually have a nice turnover of artists. There is a main body of artists who seem to exhibit every tour. But then we have new artists who come in from out of town, and kind of switch things up a little bit,” said Taggart.
Lucille Crighton is a weaver who has exhibited in every tour since its inception in 1994.
“The only thing that has really changed is that people come and go, people move out of the area or for whatever reason are not doing the tour. But it really retains the premise of showing a working studio wherever possible,” said Crighton.
Crighton weaves by hand and said people can come to have a tour in her studio where she has a room filled with colourful yarn, another room with a huge loom, and one room dedicated to sewing and cutting.
“I like the public to see that this is not just fabric that I purchase, and that it is actually an ancient craft that is still being done today,” she said.
Crighton said that she likes that people can come to her studio and bring their families and get to see her weave because there’s not a lot of other places to see something like her craft.
“This is a nice day out for people, and they can go and spend the day going from studio to studio, and then have dinner in the Beach area. It’s a nice way to spend a day in the fall,” she said.
Taggart said that the Beach Studio Tour used to run biannually in both the spring and fall, but will now be an annual event only in the spring. This is the last opportunity to enjoy the tour in the fall.
“We distribute maps which are part of our brochure. We have our yellow bikes along Queen Street and Kingston Road neighbourhood, and that’s sort of become our trademark, and they’re usually decorated with flowers or balloons to make them look pretty,” she said.
Taggart said that the tour is easily walkable, and admission is free. She said that there are also door prizes donated by artists at each of the studio locations.
“This is something we are very proud of. We feel that the tour is a great reflection of the vibrant arts community in the Beach and has been made a success by the continued support of the residents of our wonderful neighbourhood,” said Taggart.
She also said that the tour is a great opportunity for people outside the area to come and see the talent that the Beach community has to offer.
For a list of artists, a map of studio locations, and general information about the tour, please visit www.beachstudiotour.ca