A stroke of inspiration can come from anywhere.
The sixth annual Harte Trail Studio Tour will take place September 16-17. The free tour will feature new and returning artists at a number of different studios stretching along the Harte Trail – all the way to Headingley. Curious or experienced participants are encouraged to walk, run or bike to as many studios as they like along the trail, stamping their art tour passport as they go. Along the way they can view artwork, shop and chat with the various participating artists.
This will be the third time Terri Murray has shown her work on tour. She said she noticed an increase in numbers as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, which meant a diverse crowd of people stopped by.
“I think the other thing I noticed, especially in the last year, is that there were a lot of people who were asking me questions about my drawings and my art,” she said.
“There was a real interest in the art itself, which I thought was really cool. That’s part of the goal of the tour. Of course, we have to be able to show and sell our art to make people aware of who we are as artists, but also to get people excited.”
Arlene Cherepak, one of the founders of the tour, explained that the idea for the tour came from within the Charleswood Arts Group, following one of its artistic performances.
“It started out very easy,” she said. “It’s been very exciting to create something completely new. We’re learning a lot, and doing a lot. With new artists, there’s a new vitality every year.”
The tour will feature 19 performers this year, many of whom are retired. The variety of media used by artists is as wide as the length of the Harte Trail, with the list including painters, potters, sculptors and photographers.
Chiribak began by specializing in pottery, but eventually turned to painting. She did not become interested in art until after her retirement, and received a lot of training from a colleague who was studying art.
She said that Shirebak now draws a lot of inspiration from the cracks and potholes she discovers while riding her bike.
“There’s an art form to them,” she explained.
“I stop and take pictures of them, and that’s where I start my structural paintings… From the structure, I create beauty.”
Murray, a watercolor artist, draws inspiration from her love of flowers and detail. Currently, she has five flower beds in her yard, plus 30 pots. She said she enjoys painting the petals as they change and age.
“I think one of the things that was most interesting to me was that I was never interested in details until I started drawing,” she said.
“And now when I look at flowers, I see so much more in them. Before, I would look at a flower and only see a peach dahlia. Now, I look at it and see that there are peaches, and pink, and orange, and yellow, and all those colors coming together. And it’s so amazing what Nature does it.
Even with white flowers, such as iris, on a white background, the petals paint themselves. “It’s a really cool thing to do,” she said.
No matter the medium, every artist puts a little of themselves into their work, and they are there to show that work on the tour because they truly enjoy it, explained Cheribak.
Whatever he takes away from the final event, Cheribak hopes that art tourists on the Harte Trail will be inspired by what they see.
To see profiles of this year’s artists, as well as their work, visit www.hartetrailstudiotour.net
On the same website, those interested can also view the brochure, plan their tour and read about the different studios.
Emma Honeybone is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from the Creative Communications program at RRC Polytech, with a major in Journalism, in 2023.
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