It’s the longest running studio tour in Canada, and as it begins its 40th year is still going strong.
The Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour (MAST) kicked off its 40th anniversary with a reception and the opening of an exhibition, A Creative Journey, at the Canada Summit Centre gallery on May 17.
Potter Jon Partridge has been with the tour from the beginning. “The initial concept was really quite intriguing. Richard Green, who was the one who came up with the concept, got a bunch of artists together and said, ‘let’s try this out and see if it works.'”
It did, indeed. Forty years later, the tour is still a vibrant and popular fall attraction.
Partridge credits the success of the tour to both the volunteers who run it, and the concept which goes beyond the typical experience of art in a gallery.
“I think what sets our tour apart is you get into the artists’ studios, you get to see the artists’ working environments, you actually get to communicate with the artists, see work in progress, and everyone puts out as much effort as they can to explain the process,” said Partridge. “It’s not about a sale. The educational part of the tour is a big part of why I think it continues…(people taking the tour) become more informed and therefore enjoy the pieces more.”
The 40th anniversary exhibit at the Canada Summit Centre gallery was curated by Catherine O’Mara and features a variety of works from tour artists past and present, including those pictured below. Some of the pieces are for sale, and a percentage of sales from the exhibit will be held in reserve for the future acquisition of public art in Huntsville.
Mayor Scott Aitchison said that the Town of Huntsville is pleased to be hosting the exhibit that kicks off MAST’s 40th anniversary year, particularly in the CSC gallery. “(The gallery) is one of those special things that puts Huntsville on the map in a way that most other communities our size don’t even dream of doing.”
The MAST exhibit A Creative Journey will be on display at the Canada Summit Centre until August 14, 2018 and can be viewed any time the building is open.
In 2018, the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour features 19 artists in 18 studios across the region. It runs September 22, 23, 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. For more information, visit muskokaautumnstudiotour.com.
Some of the artists who have been part of the tour for the past 40 years (by the year they joined) include:
1978 – Richard Green (sculpture)
1979 – Jon Partridge* (potter), Wayne Church (metal sculpture), Hilary Clark Cole (welded sculptural objects), Charles Knapp (stained glass), Michael Cleary (painter)
1980 – Bill Hunnisett (wood carver), Brian Ashby (hand-blown glass)
1981 – Eric Lindgren (potter)
1982 – Doug Dunford* (painter), Janice Barnes (painter)
1984 – Marina Marwitz (stone sculpture)
1986 – Kathy Ashby (glass miniatures)
1987 – Jamie Sherman (hand-blown glass)
1988 – Linda Hrynyk (potter)
1989 – Jeff Miller (painter), Beth Barry (potter)
1992 – Nancy Gray Ogle (painter), Brenda Wainman Goulet (bronze sculpture), Lorraine Eidlitz (potter)
1993 – Suzann Partridge (sculptural stoneware), Penny Varney* (jeweller)
1994 – Stan Tait* (jeweller)
1996 – Elizabeth Johnson (painter), Ed Novak* (painter), Stephen Sprague (fine furniture maker)
1997 – Simon Bisley (hand-blown glass)
1998 – Catherine O’Mara* (painter), Johnathan Bullock* (potter), Beverly Hawksley (painter)
2001 – Marni Martin* (fibre arts), John Murden (painter)
2005 – Wendy Moses* (painter)
2006 – Bonnie Bews* (glass painter)
2007 – John de Lang (woodcarver)
2008 – Brian Markham* (woodturner)
2010 – Susan Higgins (glass artist), Pat Fairhead* (painter)
2012 – Tony Varney* (photographer)
2013 – Elise Muller (stone sculpture), Cirvan Hamilton (fine furniture)
2015 – Pam Carnochan* (fibre artist), Mary-Ruth Newell* (potter)
2016 – Laura Carter* (painter)
2018 – Tom Dietrich* (sculpture painter)
*These artists will be on the 2018 tour, along with Jennifer Pimentel and Mark Reeder
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