It was a unique idea at the time, and one that still captures the imaginations of visitors both new and returning.
The Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour (MAST) was launched 40 years ago, the first Canadian tour of its kind which invites visitors into artists’ studios to see where and learn how they work. It has been oft-copied to varying degrees but even now there are few, if any, tours that match its combination of access to studios and a fall drive through a stunning landscape. There are none that match its longevity.
In the spring, when MAST launched its 40th season with an exhibition, A Creative Journey, at the Canada Summit Centre, founding member Jon Partridge said, “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.” (Read about the show here.)
The tour runs September 22-23 and 29-30. Get a peek inside the studios of four Huntsville-area artists below and watch the video at the end to hear them explain a bit about their process. You’ll find the full list of participating artists and a map of their studio locations at muskokaautumnstudiotour.com if you want to visit them yourself.
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