A Glimpse of the Real Thing

Thirty-five participants in 18 locations are thrilled to be physically sharing their artistic vision once again through the 14th Annual Oxford Studio Tour, scheduled for Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It will be nice to actually see people again,” said Burgessville-area wildlife and nature acrylic artist Rhonda Franks. “It’s nice to get an actual physical response to your work.”

COVID-19’s unwelcome arrival caused a one-year hiatus, then converted the 13th annual tour in 2021 to an online event due to ongoing pandemic challenges and restrictions. That experience underlined how fortunate one of the tour’s founders and ongoing organizers Sue Goossens of Otterville feels, ‘to be doing this again.’

“It’s something as an artist you look forward to.”

Full-colour brochures complete with descriptions of each artist and a tour map identifying individual and shared gallery locations (highlighted by red tour signs) are available at the Woodstock Art Gallery, Ingersoll’s Creative Arts Centre, Tillsonburg’s Station Arts Centre, tour sponsors and participating artists. Additional information including GPS coordinates is also included on the tour website (oxfordstudiotour.ca), available by calling 519-842-6151 or visiting the tour’s dedicated Facebook page. The latter will be hosting gift certificate giveaways courtesy of several participating artists throughout the month of April.

COVID’s dynamic nature has made establishing hard and fast criteria for artists and tour participants alike difficult. If artists have special requests for visitors with regards for example to sanitation or masking, they are to be clearly identified on location.

“The biggest thing is just being respectful,” said Tillsonburg-based oil painter Tabitha Verbuyst.

There is no charge for the tour, which covers both a wide range of Oxford County geographically, and media including oil, acrylic, watercolour painting, mixed media, graphite, pen and ink, pottery, jewellery, photography, weaving, fibre arts, encaustic, collage, digital art and gourds. Those resuming what has become an annual spring tradition celebrating and encouraging connection amongst the county’s artistic community and its supporters will notice a blend of familiar and new faces, offering what Goossens believes is ‘something for everyone’.

“It’s all out there, just waiting to be found.”

Feedback on the studio tour’s return has been ‘highly positive’ says Goossens, who believes it is not only artists looking forward to the weekend event.

“People are anxious to get out and do something as well,” she concluded.

From left, Paulette Robertson (foreground), Lianne Todd (rear), Sue Goossens (rear), Aggie Armstrong (front), Lesley Penwill (front), Tabitha Verbuyst (rear) and Rhonda Franks (rear) are among 35 participating artists in 18 locations featured on the 14th Annual Oxford Studio Tour, scheduled for Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information on the tour can be found in full-colour brochures, the tour website (oxfordstudiotour.ca), by calling 519-842-6151 or visiting the tour’s dedicated Facebook page.

From left, Paulette Robertson (foreground), Lianne Todd (rear), Sue Goossens (rear), Aggie Armstrong (front), Lesley Penwill (front), Tabitha Verbuyst (rear) and Rhonda Franks (rear) are among 35 participating artists in 18 locations featured on the 15th Annual Oxford Studio Tour, scheduled for Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information on the tour can be found in full-colour brochures, the tour website (oxfordstudiotour.ca), by calling 519-842-6151 or visiting the tour’s dedicated Facebook page.

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