Driving from Perth to Westport, part of your reward for attending the Fall Colours Studio Tour on Thanksgiving Weekend is the incredible view on your way into the village. From the winding road that descends from Foley Mountain you can take in a panorama of the village and its surroundings.
First-time and returning visitors to Westport will likely enjoy the view almost as much as they will enjoy the work of the 35 artists (in nine studios) on the self-guided tour, now in its 24th year.
The tour gives visitors the opportunity to meet artists in the region, free of charge, on the Thanksgiving long weekend, October 12, 13 and 14, from 10AM to 5PM.
One of the nine studios opening their doors this year is the GristMill Studio, which literally cannot be missed as you are driving down the hill into Westport, due to its bright red roof. The GristMill is home to sculptor Diane Black, and she will have four guest artists exhibiting with her over the weekend.
“I love the sense of camaraderie that develops between the artists when you work together for the weekend,” says Black. “Along with sharing your work, you share a lot of laughs, give advice, share contacts, etc. It is typically a beautiful fall weekend and that brings lots of people out.”
One of the guest artists exhibiting at the GristMill this year is Tamara Kayfetz-Kingston from Latimer Soap Works. “I enjoy participating in the studio tour because it gives me the opportunity to connect with new and long-time customers that I do not normally get a chance to talk to,” says Kayfetz-Kingston. “I love to talk about the soap-making process and all that it involves, and educating people about handmade soap.”
The availability of the artists and the chance to learn about their creative process firsthand is one of the reasons why studio tours are so compelling. Newcomers Chantal Bennett and Joel Kimmel from Papillon Press intend on informing visitors about the letterpress printing process in their Westport studio.
“We are looking forward to doing demonstrations for visitors on our antique printing press and showing them our process for creating letterpress stationery,” says Bennett. “Visitors will also be able to try their hand at printing their own stationery on one of our three letterpresses.”
Visit westportstudiotours.ca for more information on all the artists and studios on this year’s Fall Colours Studio Tour.
Humm Contributors: Joel Kimmel & Chantal Bennett