Artistry on display

Morden artist George Fieber displayed his stained glass pieces at his studio during last year's Pembina Valley Studio Tour. (FILE PHOTO)

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Artists around the region are opening their studios to the public on September 7 and 8 for the Pembina Valley Studio Tour.

The tour gives people a chance to visit local artists inside their studios, see how the process works and maybe come home with a new piece of art or two.

The tour is on its 15th year this summer and tour chairperson Margie Hildebrand said they are celebrating the milestone while remembering where they came from.

“It’s grown and become more popular,” she said. “People are now expecting it as an annual event, and people are coming from as far as Winnipeg and the States and around here.”

Hildebrand wasn’t part of the original committee that put the first tour together, but she said they probably didn’t imagine the event would grow so big.

“The talent has also grown quite a bit and the range of arts that are being put out there,” she said. “It’s not just the paintings, but there’s ceramic and there’s metal, we’ve got more fibre art, glass blowing, sculptures, quilting…”

Hildebrand said it’s been good to see the range of artistry in the Pembina Valley.

“We just want to promote them in the region and make an opportunity for people to showcase what they do and where they do it,” she said. “People are very interested in seeing where these different artists live and work and how the process is in some cases.”

There are 28 locations in different communities across the Pembina Valley, including Winkler, Morden, Carman, Altona, Manitou, Miami and surrounding areas.

Some are galleries and some are individual studios.

Hildebrand said there is usually a good changeover between artists from year to year. “There are some that drop out for a year and someone else new comes in,” she said. “It’s a little bit of overlap but a lot of new [artists]. I would guess one third of people are new to the tour.”

Artists often have pieces for sale at the stops on the tour, but “admission” to the tour is totally free through grants and support from Co-op, Access Event Centre and Home Hardware.

Hildebrand said she hopes the tour gives people an appreciation for local artists and the scenery they pass through.

“As they’re driving around, they can enjoy our beautiful southern Manitoba, look at the harvest and the variations in the natural world around us,” she said. “We do live in a lovely area. It’s a nice day for a drive and people can see what’s out there and maybe see something different.”

“Some of the different spaces that the artists have are quite varied,” she added.

The tour runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Studios and galleries will be marked with a giant A sign.

Brochures that include maps and locations are available at Pembina Hills Arts Council in Morden, Winkler Arts and Culture, Golden Prairie Arts Council in Carman, Gallery in the Park in Altona and all regional libraries.

For more information or to download a brochure visit www.pembinavalleystudiotour.com.

Chelsea Fehr’s pyrography was on display at last year’s Pembina Valley Studio Tour. (FILE PHOTO)

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