The Oxford Studio Detour is not a permanent replacement for the annual Oxford Studio Tour, but it’s a taste of what will be available once again – if conditions allow it next May.
“It’s a reminder for people that the artists are out here in Oxford County,” said Otterville artist Sue Goossens, one of 30 artists displaying art at the Station Arts Centre in Tillsonburg until Oct. 30. The Station has also been promoting Studio Detour artist-submitted videos using its social media accounts.
“It’s a reminder that we’re out there – and we’ll be back,” said Goossens. “We’re planning something the first weekend of May next year and we have a lot of time to figure out a good logistical way to do it.”
That could mean moving some of the tour outdoors in 2021, using home garages or tents.
In a typical year the Oxford Studio Tour has 40 artists exhibiting across Oxford County, which gives visitors a wide selection of art to browse.
“That’s the whole beauty of the studio tour,” said Goossens. “There’s so much variety and so many different artists, and they all have their own contacts and they all bring people in. It allows us to have a really diverse show. It’s like a travelling show where you never know what you’re going to find around the next corner.”
A sample of that diversity is all under one roof this year at 41 Bridge St. West.
“It’s a great opportunity to get out during this… (pandemic) time that we’re having. It’s not like the Studio Tour where everyone is cramming in on two days. It’s spread out, you can choose when you want to go, Monday-Saturday, 9-4. It’s a safe venue, and you do it with your mask.”
All the art at Oxford Studio Detour is on sale, Goossens noted.
“If you don’t find the exact piece you want there, you could always contact the artist. Most of the artists on the tour are selling stuff out of their homes year round.”
Exhibiting artists include: Stephanie Porter, Jan Duncan, Linda Yeoman, Alex Smith, Sue Simpson, Janet Whittington, Keri Axon, Anette Martin, Paul Walker, Sue Goossens, Tabitha Verbuyst, Jared Smith, Lesley Penwill, Danielle Gardner, Bill Gardner, Cathy Groulx, Alan Taylor, Mercedes Victoria, Bruce Hartley, Ruth Hartley, Rhonda Franks, Yvonne Snyder, Aggie Armstrong, Maggie Robertson, Ineke Rombouts, Lianne Todd, Sara Cuthbert, Don Spence, Bunny Warner, and David Gifford.
If you would like more information on the exhibit or to set an appointment with an artist, visit www.stationarts.ca or email Tabitha Verbuyst, Program and Community Co-ordinator, Gallery Curator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the last seven months, Goossens has maintained a steady output of art.
“I’ve been at this so long,” Goossens laughed. “I just love painting. I painted all winter, then I kind of laid off, then I started again. I just like painting – and sooner or later I will have another show.
“And honestly, things sold quite well this summer. It’s like people had time and, if they had funds, they wanted to do something. We had masks… and it was good. I don’t think I sold as many paintings, but I was surprised at what did move because I didn’t think anybody would be doing anything. But it’s been good, which is encouraging. Because it (COVID-19) is not the end of the artistic license to get out there and paint and I think all the artists have to realize that. It’s a good time to maybe try something new, experiment a bit.
“I’m still doing the same thing, water colours, but it modifies slightly (over the years). The brush work changes, the colours change, the subject matter changes. I don’t do anything too radical but if you look at something from three to four years ago, there is a change. You have to…”