Start preparing those Christmas lists because The Moostletoe Artists Studio Tour returns after a three-year hiatus, with this year also its 10th anniversary.
The event occurs Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This self-guided tour features artists opening their studios and galleries — sometimes in their homes — for the public to visit. People can enjoy fine art of various materials, view their favourite artists’ studios, and start their Christmas shopping early.
The event is free and is for all ages.
A map can be found on the group’s Facebook page or at the Yvette Moore Gallery on Fairford Street. Pick up a tour passport at your first stop, receive a stamp at each location and leave your card at the last studio visited for a chance to win a $250 gift basket filled with homemade fine art from all the tour artists.
A list of artists can be found at the end of this article.
Laura Hamilton, one of the artists and event co-ordinator, explained that she attempted to organize a tour last fall, but many group members didn’t want to proceed because COVID-19 was still happening and pandemic restrictions were still in place.
So, the Moostletoe Tour didn’t happen, but she held a summer show this year to see what response she could receive. Some people wore masks, others didn’t, but many people came to view her paintings.
“I kept hearing from people, ‘Oh, it’s so nice to do this again. It’s so nice to get out,’” Hamilton said. “So when I approached the group this fall, I said I feel like people are craving just being able to get out in public and engage with others.
“Seems like we’ve been cooped up for the last two-and-a-half (to) three years. So it’s nice to get back to it. And then everyone was excited.”
Organizing the 2022 tour was extra work for Hamilton since three artists retired during the pandemic or moved on to other endeavours, which meant she had to find new people.
Hamilton immediately thought of Jess Zoerb and Erin Zimmerman since she had worked with the former on a previous show. Meanwhile, she knew two women from The River Street Potters and thought this group could replace Parsons Dietrich Pottery.
Having eight groups instead of nine this year still works, Hamilton continued. Several people told her they didn’t want to make too many stops since they wanted to see all the sites in one day.
“It’s good to do something new. It keeps it fresh,” Hamilton added.
Hamilton — who joined the Moostletoe Tour in its fourth year — thought it was great that the event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year but believes the celebration would be bigger if not for the pandemic. Yet, the group is finding its footing again, while she believes the event will run smoothly.
Hamilton wants to see people of all ages attend, even teenagers. She has a soft spot for them because she used to teach and wants them more involved in the community’s arts scene. She noted that during her summer show, she found it fascinating that fathers brought their children to view her art.
“If you hold something, lots of people will come,” she added.
2022 Moostletoe Tour artists
The Laura Hamilton Art studio is at 128 Blue Sage Drive. She paints nostalgic and whimsical oil paintings, while her signature collection includes limited edition reproductions, pillows, bags, notebooks, cards and the ever-popular calendars.
Bill and Laurette Keen of W.C. Keen Metal Artist are at 127 Calypso Drive. He has designed unique handmade metal sculptures for 40 years, while she provides the finishing touches of each piece.
Beth Barrett of One Sweet Dream Pottery is at 1211 Fifth Avenue Northwest. She creates functional stoneware that is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Artists Jess Zoerb and Erin Zimmerman are at The Art House on 720 Second Avenue Northeast. Attendees should park on Caribou Street or Athabasca Street that day because of area construction.
Artist Jude Radwanski of Firefly Art Jewellery is in the Hammond Building. Each piece of her wearable jewelry is hand-sculpted using polymer clay and accented in silver or gold. Her pieces are influenced by ancient artifacts, natural elements and age-old patinas.
The Yvette Moore Gallery features the exclusive art collection of artist Yvette Moore. It carries an extensive collection of handcrafted pottery and jewelry in Saskatchewan.
The River Street Potters are located downstairs at 337 River Street West. The group comprises Melanie McFarlane, Shannan Taylor, Faithe Sovdi and Dianne Newman.