Oxford Studio Tour draws from 'all over'

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Local artists were in the spotlight on the weekend during the 11th annual Oxford Studio Tour.

"Thirty-seven artists, 19 locations," said Deb Beard, general manager of the Station Arts Centre in Tillsonburg, one of the 19 stops with six artists displaying their work in the Changing Exhibit Gallery - Tabitha Verbuyst (ink, watercolour, oils), Beard (sculptured and thrown ceramic works), Valerie Zadow (watercolours and acrylics), Jan Duncan (wood), Jared Smith (metal and reclaimed objects), and Judy Feskun (sterling silver, copper wire jewellery).

Another Tillsonburg artist, Paul Walker, was also part of the two-day tour with work in acrylic, watercolour and pen and ink.

"Paul's new on the tour this year and he's got some beautiful, beautiful work," said Beard who estimated 300 people went through the Station on the weekend, with approximately 200 on Saturday alone. The furthest were from Toronto and Windsor, but there were also visitors from closer to home - London, Kitchener and Guelph - and of course, Tillsonburg.

"They were really pleased and amazed by the quality of work being offered on the tour."

Around the county, artists displayed and sold oils, acrylics, watercolours, mixed media, graphite, pottery, pen and ink, jewellery, photography, weaving, digital art, gourds, fibre arts, and encaustic.

The weather was exceptional both days, and Beard said some visitors took advantage of the warmer spring weather to do yard work in the morning, then started touring in the afternoon.

"This is the best weekend we've had," Beard smiled.

"A lot of new folks on the tour," she added, noting there were side benefits for the town co-hosting the Studio Tour, mainly for retailers including restaurants.

"We also had folks that became familiar with some of our local members in the (Baggage Room Artisan) gift shop and the (Bridge Street) gallery. People purchased there as well. That was a nice spin-off too."

Attendance was slower Sunday, she said, but steady with people coming in 'waves.'

"It fills up, then it empties out, it fills up, then it empties out," commented one of the six Station artists.



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