Anyone in Waterloo Region looking to enjoy the brilliant fall colours next weekend are in for an extra treat as they will have the opportunity to stop and visit the workshops and studios of some of the region’s most talented artists. Oct. 22 and 23 marks the return of the Kissing Bridge Studio Tour, and this year’s event – the ninth annual – promises to be better than ever.
“We’re trying to get people to come from far and wide to come and tour the studios,” said Frances Gregory, a St. Jacobs-based painter who has been with the tour since its inception.
“We want to promote tourism and the artists in the region.”
This year’s tour features 24 artists at 14 different locations, and the artists vary from painters and potters to photographers and fiber artists. During the two-day event, hundreds of visitors can pass through a studio, which helps increase the artist’s visibility and exposure to the public.
The organizers of the tour wish to maintain a certain quality of artwork on the tour, and anyone interested in being included must submit samples of their work to be assessed by a panel of judges each spring.
One of those artists is first-time participant Brent Schreiber. The Elmira-based painter visited many of the sites during the tour last year and was struck by the sheer number of talented artists in the area, and many of them encouraged him to apply to be on the tour this year.
“Just the amount of talent around here is astounding. There are a lot of excellent artists and work that’s available,” he said.
Schreiber, 35, had worked in the advertising industry for about 15 years before re-discovering his love for art back in 2009. Since then he’s made it his full-time job.
“I was more focused on my art than my other full time job, so I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do.
“You only live once,” he said.
Visitors are welcome to set their own pace and visit the artists in any order they like with no need to worry about tickets and there is plenty of free parking at every location.
There is also the guarantee of interesting conversation with the artists about their homegrown art and their inspiration for creating it.
“It has to be your life. It’s not something you look at like a 9-5 job,” explained Schreiber of the life of an artist.
“Your head is going 24-7 and asking what you’re working on next.”
The studio tour will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 23, and maps of the different sites are available in a brochure available at the local library, Robin’s Nest café in Elmira, or on their website, www.kbtstudiotour.ca.