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.

Oxford Studio Tour 2022!

It is officially less than a month until the Oxford Studio Tour. Yes, no April Fool’s joke, it is a real life event for the first time since 2019, and we are excited!



You can pick up printed brochures as of today at:

Early Bird coffee:  2 locations (these will be open during tour, also):

375 Dundas St N4S 1B6  & 815 Juliana Dr #3 Woodstock Ontario

Schaus Decorating, and

Your Farm Market in Woodstock.

Soon, they will also be available at:

Tourism Oxford,   580 Bruin Blvd,  Woodstock,  ON,   N4V 1E5

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre,   125 Centennial Ln,  Ingersoll,  ON,   N5C 3V3

Station Arts Centre,   41 Bridge. St. W.,   Tillsonburg,  ON,   N4G 5P2

Or, you can just ask any of the artists on the tour for one. Other options include visiting our website for information on artists, links to Google maps of tour locations, and more. www.oxfordstudiotour.ca

Stay tuned!

Artists’ Application for 2022 Tour

We are feeling very positive about holding a freshly planned art studio tour in Oxford County, Ontario in 2022!

To be included as an artist on the tour please read the artists’ application carefully, follow ALL directions, download, print, fill, and scan to send by email, or send the filled form and any other required materials by mail to the address listed in the application.

All artists (first time or previously included artists) must submit an appropriately filled application with specified requirements and it must be submitted on time.

Link to Application Form for 2022 Oxford Studio Tour

Deadline is October 18, 2021.

Happy creating!

Virtual Oxford Studio Tour

As you know, our Oxford Studio Tour, which would have been this weekend, has been cancelled once again due to COVID-19.

We know visiting our art onscreen is not the same as the fun of touring around Oxford County and seeing each artist in person, along with all of their fabulous art, but what to do? We decided to make the best of it and hold a virtual tour in the form of a Facebook Event. Consider yourself invited! Join in by clicking “Going”, then check out the “Discussions” button to see all of the artwork being showcased. Artist contact info should be available at each post. We’d all be thrilled if you decided to purchase a piece, but we are happy if you just want to look, like, share, etc. It is open to the public and it is free. It’s on right now, and it will be open until 9 a.m. May 7.

After that, just follow the directions for non-Facebook users:

For those not on Facebook, it might be fun to visit our Studios and Artists by Location Page here on our website, and just visit each artist’s website.

Oxford Studio Tour 2021 – updates!

We have decided to go ahead with our Oxford Studio Tour this year, given the hopeful outlook of having vaccines, the ability and knowledge of everyone to more easily comply with COVID-19 prevention strategies, and the desire to do something fun that isn’t online!

It will occur on May 1 & 2, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   All precautions will be taken to ensure a safe tour for everyone, given the current pandemic.  Please follow all guidelines and instructions at each location.  Masks will be required at all times.  We thank you for your cooperation and patience in this!

We will be using the brochures that we had printed for the 2020 tour, however they may not be available in some of the places you are accustomed to seeing them.  We have not distributed them yet, and that won’t be happening for a little while.  A notice will go out from here when we do, so you will know where to find them.  You could also ask one of the artists for one – you can use the contact information for an artist here on the site, or you can use our contact us page.

There will be several changes from the original tour plan, so these will be reflected on the website, and on the Google map of the tour.  People move, venues become unavailable, etc. etc.  None of the artists are required to participate, so some are opting out for this year.  We will attempt to modify the brochures with the new information, but it would still be best for you to consult the website before embarking on the tour!

These are the changes we know of so far (for details see Studios and Artists by Location):

For Location #1:  only 2 of the original 3 artists will be participating.

For Location #3:  the location will be different, and only 3 or the original 4 artists will be participating.

For Location #13:  the location will be different.

For Location #14:  this location is completely cancelled

For Location #16:  the location will be different.

Please subscribe to this blog to stay up to date.   Thank you for supporting your local artists by spreading the news about the tour in any way you can.  Stay tuned!

 

Oxford Studio Detour Invitation

Oxford Studio DETOUR

Fall is just around the corner and we have now decided that with the current pandemic situation it is too risky to plan on holding the Oxford Studio Tour on our previously mentioned alternate date in November.

Instead, we are postponing this year’s tour to its normal time slot in May of next year.

In the meantime, we are having an art show and sale during the month of October at the Station Arts Centre in Tillsonburg, Ontario.  It is called, appropriately, the Oxford Studio Detour.

Please consider yourself invited!  See the invitation below for details.  There will be one or two pieces of art from each of the 28 participating artists, so you will get a real taste of the tour.  Visitors are welcome to stop in anytime Monday to Saturday 9-4 pm from Oct 2-30 to view the exhibit without an appointment. COVID-19 safety measures will be in place.

There won’t be a formal opening, because of the pandemic, however appointment arrangements can be made with any particular artist if you wish to have them present.  The Station will need to know a day ahead of time, with the number of people and contacts.  Otherwise, no appointment is necessary!

Oxford Studio Detour Invitation

See you in fall – we hope!

Normally we artists would all be doing our last minute preparations for the Oxford Studio Tour, which would usually take place next weekend.  Instead, we are all cooperating with the efforts to subdue the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Our tour has been postponed until this new date:

November 21 & 22, 2020

We know you all understand and hope that in the meantime, you are all staying home and staying healthy.

You may wish to visit the websites of all the artists on the tour and leisurely plan out where you might go this year.  Or, perhaps some of them are capable of remotely accepting payment and shipping their art to you if you see something you really must have.  In any case, visiting their websites, and their social media accounts, liking and sharing their posts and their work, helps them more than you might realize.

See you in the fall!

Oxford Studio Tour 2020 – mark your calendars!

The website is now completely updated with all the information you need for the 2020 Oxford Studio tour.  This will be our 13th annual event and takes place May 2 & 3 (always the weekend before Mother’s Day weekend).  Participating studios and galleries will be open 10 am to 5 pm on both days.

The Home page contains links to all of the other pages either on the menu or within the text, pertinent information about the tour, as well as a direct link to a Google Map of the whole tour, and a slideshow of the kinds of art you will see as you travel around.  It also gives you a visual idea of what to look for when searching out our brochures.

Check out who is on the tour this year on the Studios and Artists by Location page.  At the top of that page, there is a link again to a Google Map of the whole tour.  Each Location entry shows who is there, provides a blurb about each artist’s work, a sample image provided by each artist, links to the artists’ websites and/or contact information, and a link to a Google Map of that specific Location.

The Brochure Maps page provides digital versions of the maps found on this year’s  brochure.  It also contains links to the aforementioned Google Map.

Thank you for spreading the word about us any way you can!

 

Next Weekend!

We are in the last week before the 12th Annual Oxford Studio TourForty artists all around Oxford County, Ontario, Canada, are busily framing and putting the finishing touches on their carefully created works.  Some will be packing them up soon to take to host studios and art centres, others will be madly cleaning their houses and especially their display areas to make sure everything is in shape to host at their own studios and galleries.  While many of us show at various exhibits all year long, the tour weekend gives us a real chance to meet the art lovers in our region and hopefully make a few sales.

There are 16 Locations on the tour this year.  You get to decide which ones you want to visit, whether it is based on what kind of art you want to see, where you want to go, how long you can sit in the car, or which ones you’ve already been to in previous years.  Admission is free, as always, and the website has a complete guide with links to maps.  You may have already picked up a brochure at one of the many locations they are available.  Many businesses have been very kind to us and we appreciate it so much!  They are also available at each studio.

If you can’t do the tour this year, or if you can, but you are not in the market for a piece of art, you may wish to consider other ways you can support your favourite local artists:  visit their websites, subscribe to their blogs, ‘like’ their posts, forward their art event emails to your friends, share their posts or their websites on social media or just simply tell your friends and relatives about them.  Every little bit you do means new eyes will see the art.  We will love you for it!

Creative visions – Oxford Studio Tour 2018

Lesley Penwill can be relentless in bending a subject’s will to her vision.
“I have a variety of hammers and a torch and a kiln,” smiled the Beachville-based artist, who forms, shapes and etches silver, copper, brass and stone into one-of-a-kind jewellery. “It happens, I just keep at it until it happens.”
“The piece makes promises to you and you have to hold it to them,” interjected Otterville painter Lianne Todd.
The transformative process is one Penwill’s husband Mike is familiar with, if not subject to.
“It doesn’t work that well with people,” Lesley laughed. “Fortunately, I think – I really like individuality.”

Original art resulting from unique creative vision through diverse media lies at the heart of the 11th Annual Oxford Studio Tour, Saturday May 5 and Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days. Supported by event sponsor Bossy Nagy Group and a list of featured advertisers, a total of 37 artists in 19 locations are participating, showcasing unique oil, acrylic, watercolour and encaustic paintings, pen and ink and graphite drawings, mixed, digital media and photography, jewellery, weaving and fibre arts, gourds and pottery.

A full list of artists and studios by location, detailed tour Google maps and related information down to parking tips may be found at oxfordstudiotour.ca. Glossy full-colour brochures also featuring maps are available from the Station Arts Centre, Tourism Oxford, Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre, libraries throughout Oxford County and at southwestern Ontario tourism offices. During the two-day tour, each of 19 sites will feature distinctive red signs.

Those seeking more information are invited to call the Station Arts Centre at 519-842-6151, email office@stationarts.ca or access the ‘contact us’ option on the tour webpage.

“The quality of the art is amazing,” said Deb Beard, General Manager of Tillsonburg’s Station Arts Centre which acts as umbrella coordinating organization and host for several exhibitors. “It’s a perfect tour to begin or expand your collection.”
Oxford’s geographical diversity and the unique nature of its communities are definitely part of the experience says Beard, but due to its size, some tour participants may choose to focus on different areas of the county in alternate years. She also suggests advance research, allowing concentration on specific areas of interest.
“Having said that, don’t be afraid to try new things,” Beard encouraged. “And you will learn Oxford’s artistic community is vibrant.”

One does not have to be an artist to appreciate the latter, but it certainly has been the experience of painter Paul Walker, who has been working with acrylics for 15 years. A two-year resident of Tillsonburg via Restoule (exhibiting on the Country Roads studio tour) and a working career as an engineer in Hamilton, he is one of four new exhibitors to embrace ‘an exciting opportunity’ within a community of Oxford artists whose number and diversity surprised and impressed him.
“The quality of the work is excellent and the variety is amazing too,” says Walker, who as a painter, has particular interest in that form of expression. “But it’s nice to see the others as well.”

Otterville’s Todd both ‘bends’ and is bent by artistic inspiration, creating fractal art, capturing and printing snapshots on brushed aluminum of a striking moment during her exploration of the geometrical patterns in nature within a digitally-generated realm; and conversely, more traditional watercolour interpretations, not so much a precise rendering, but conveyance of their artistic essence.
“I try and remember what it was about the scene which originally inspired me.”

Paulette Robertson exhibits her own version of artistic diversity, a whimsical combination of primitive rug hooking reflecting her Maritime background, and hand-built pottery evolving from years of teaching children’s pottery.
“I like folky, funky things,” she smiled. “And the pieces I do are very folksy and funky.”

Like Robertson, Woodstock’s Keri Axon has experienced a journey, hers from sewing and weaving to decorative functional and non-functional wheel and hand-built pottery as retirement allows her to more fully explore her creative side.
“You do grow, you change as you work through the artistic process.”

Otterville-area artist Sue Goossens’s traditional, yet innovative watercolour style will also be on display, including a series on Scotland and an exploration of Vancouver Island.
“And playing around a bit with new colours,” said Goossens, who as one of the tour’s founders, remains pleased not only with its longevity, but continued evolution and growth while remaining true to its core principles.
“It’s original art for everyone,” she concluded.

~by Jeff Tribe

The 11th Annual Oxford Studio Tour is scheduled for Saturday May 5 and Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, featuring 37 artists at 19 locations throughout the country, including (left to right) Sue Goossens, Paulette Robertson, Lianne Todd, Paul Walker, Lesley Penwill and Keri Axon. A full list of artists and studios by location, detailed tour Google maps and related information down to parking tips may be found at oxfordstudiotour.ca. Those seeking more information are invited to call the Station Arts Centre at 519-842-6151, email office@stationarts.ca or access the ‘contact us’ option on the tour webpage.

Photo credit: Jeff Tribe

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