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The 2012 Tour Group (left to right): Elaine Robitaille, Fern Rempel, Carol Furman, Cindy Redekeop, Ken Christopher, David Tuttle, Marg Wiebe, Hedi Gossweiler, Marsha Canon, Laurie Wagner, Maria Enns. Missing: Vickie Phillips, Connie Gibbens, Geoff Philips

By Jenny-Lee Hastings

The Studio Tour gives access to excellent quality art and handcraft in the region and allows people to meet the makers and learn about their work in a relaxed yet personal way.

The 4th annual Highway 1 Studio Tour Is happening again this coming weekend September 22nd and 23rd. and you should definitely make plans to go, whether it’s by yourself or with a bunch of friends with whom you can carpool. It’s loads of fun and well worth it.

Each year various Southwest Saskatchewan artists and artisans open up their studios to the public and let them get a peek at where they do their work. There are also guest artists invited to show their creations and give demonstrations at each of the five stops along the way. This year they have five new artists participating.

The route will take you from Rushlake to Morse and is well marked by signs and flags so even if you are like me and tend to lose your way when following maps it is impossible not to find each location. If you don’t feel like finishing the tour on the first day you can just do part of it and finish it off the next day. That gives you even more time to stop and see what they have at each place.

Painting by artist Geoff Phillips

The Town of Herbert’s Historic Train Station

Bring your camera if you love the prairie landscape as I do. I always stop near Marsha’s Studio and take photos of the waterfowl near there. This time of year you are likely to get some good harvest photos as well.

Don’t worry about food during the trip. There are restaurants in Herbert and Morse and you may also purchase lunch at the Historic Herbert Train Station or at Wildflower Acres Gallery and Gift Barn. (The Train Station serves ‘Faspa’ which is a traditional Mennonite lunch and the ladies there love to feed people.)

Painting by Marg Wiebe

With 14 varied types of Artisans you are going to get an eyeful. Some of the work will seem more what you would expect, such as the pottery, painting and fibre art and some like Cindy’s pop tab purses will make you wonder why no one had ‘tried that’ before. All of it is eyecatching and wonderful.

Polymer clay decorated bowl by Elaine Robitaille

Get a Passport at the beginning of the Tour and get it stamped or a signature at each of the stops along the way then enter it at your last stop for a chance to win a gift collection donated by the various artists. I envy the lucky winner each year.

Artist Heidi Gossweiler

This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the artists and find out more about why they love what they do and how they got into their special artistic field. Knowing what motivates them or how they decided which colours or textures to use in their pieces makes owning a bit of it sort of like a personal journey that they let you take with them.

Hats by Heidi Gossweiler

Bring your wallet and get a head start on your Christmas shopping or birthday gift giving. Anything you purchase will be unique and truly appreciated. You may not be able to resist choosing a few things for yourself along the way either. Go for it, we all deserve something special once in a while and the items these Artists have on offer are just the thing.

But the most important thing is to take the Tour and see what our very own Homegrown Saskatchewan Talent has to offer! You won’t regret it.

How to GoHere: The tour is easy enough to follow – just head down the Trans Canada and look for the signs – or follow this map:

 

The “Lavatory” at the Morse Museum

Gotta Go?: This tour is put on by ladies – so rest assured there are bathrooms galore available for public use at each stop along the way.

Good to Know:

  • Stop 1 in Rushlake (306-773-4576) includes:  The wide range of types of works done by each of these artists include: lovely pottery by Carol Furman, pastel and acrylic paintings by Fern Rempel and metal wire crochet jewelry and poptab purses by Cindy Redekop at the first stop in Rushlake. A must if you are a purse collector.
  • Laurie Wagner’s new baby dragons

    Stop 2 at Orange Tree Design Studios (306-784-2865) includes: Marsha Cannon’s stained glass and exquisite embroidery with guests David Tuttle featuring collage and gouache  paintings and doll maker Laurie Wagner (I especially love her fairies and hear she has begun creating tiny dragons too!).

  • Stop 3 at the Lone Eagle Motel (306-784-2223) includes:  Hedi Gossweiler an alpaca fibre artist. She has a range of hats and socks and sweaters and the teddy bears created using alpaca fibres are the softest I have ever come across.She has some of her Alpacas and their babies available in a pen for you to see close up and personal.
  • Stop 4 at the Historic Herbert Train Station (306-784-2223) includes five artists:  Elaine Robitaille will be showing her polymer clay beads, jewelry and one of a kind vessels; Marg Wiebe will showcase her wonderful watercolour paintings and photography; Maria Ens will show her mixed media and upcycled art; and Ken Christopher shows off his contemporary landscapes in oil.
  • Stop 5 at Wildflower Acres Gallery and Gift Barn(306-629-3265) includes:  new to the tour – Vicki Phillips featuring collectibles and more. Connie Gibbons with her abstract painting and jewelry and Geoff Philips with his contemporary oil paintings.