Art Across the Marsh stu­dio tour show­cases lo­cal tal­ent

This year’s event fea­tures 40 artists in 22 lo­ca­tions

The Amherst News - - NEWS - By Katie Tower Amherst News

Artists from across the re­gion are get­ting set to wel­come vis­i­tors into their stu­dios this week­end as they open up their doors for the an­nual Art Across the Marsh stu­dio tour.

Twenty-two stops mark the stu­dio tour trail this year, show­cas­ing the work of 40 artists in an ar­ray of medi­ums – from paint­ing to pot­tery, stained glass to sculpt­ing, quilt­ing to pho­tog­ra­phy and so much more.

Mar­i­lyn Cook, a silk painter in Sackville, has been par­tic­i­pat­ing in the stu­dio tour for 17 years now and gets ex­cited ev­ery time the event comes around again each year.

“Art Across the Marsh is a high­light of the year for me as a craftsper­son,” says Cook. “The stu­dio is full of new work for vis­i­tors to view and I look for­ward to demon­strat­ing the art of paint­ing on silk and ev­ery­one is wel­come to try it out.”

The stu­dio tour, now in its 18th year, has be­come some­what of a

fall tra­di­tion in Tantra­mar, at­tract­ing hun­dreds of vis­i­tors from through­out the Mar­itimes each year.

Tour or­ga­nizer Robert Lyon, who is also one of the ar­ti­sans open­ing up his stu­dio to guests, says many peo­ple make a day or week­end trip out of it, com­ing from nearby lo­cales such as Monc­ton, She­diac, Hills­bor­ough, Petit­co­diac, Amherst; and as far away as PEI, Cape Bre­ton, St. John, Fred­er­ic­ton, Hal­i­fax and beyond.

Lyon says the tour pro­vides vis­i­tors with an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the unique and vi­brant arts com­mu­nity that has be­come syn­ony­mous with the Tantra­marCum­ber­land re­gion.

Kather­ine Mar­lin, a sculp­tor, painter and stained glass artist from Midgic, agrees.

“This area has so many cre­ative peo­ple tucked away, and once a year we all come out to play,” she says.

Lyon says the artists on the tour range from up-and-com­ing new­com­ers to renowned pro­fes­sion­als, of­fer­ing up a di­verse mix of artistry and cre­ativ­ity.

This year’s tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Satur­day and Sun­day (Oct. 14-15), will of­fer vis­i­tors a sneak peek into artists’ stu­dios all over Tantra­mar and Cum­ber­land coun­ties – from Dorch­ester to Sackville, from Midgic to Joli­cure, from Baie Verte to Amherst, N.S

“The stu­dio tour is a great op­por­tu­nity for art lovers to visit the stu­dios of the artists and see their pro­cesses,” says Dorch­ester artist Denyse Mil­liken. “It’s fun for me to demon­strate spin­ning and weav­ing for my guests as most of them have never seen ei­ther done be­fore.”

Lyon says not only do vis­i­tors get an in­side look into th­ese artists’ stu­dios, the week­end-long event is also a great way to ex­pose peo­ple more to the area, es­pe­cially at this time of year when the colors are start­ing to change.

“The marsh is just spec­tac­u­lar, with all the golds and reds . . . it’s just beau­ti­ful this time of year,” says Lyon.

Mid­dle­ton artists and sis­ters Peggy Estabrooks and Jackie Wel­don say this will be their fourth year par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tour and they are ea­ger to wel­come guests back into their home-based stu­dio for an­other round.

“It is al­ways such a fun week­end, meet­ing so many peo­ple en­joy­ing a lovely drive in the coun­try, the beau­ti­ful views in our lit­tle val­ley and vis­it­ing the many art gal­leries along the way. It is a joy.”

Mar­garet Ann Cap­per, a Sackville pot­ter, says she also en­joys meet­ing vis­i­tors from near and far.

“It is won­der­ful to have in­ter­ested pub­lic visit my stu­dio/ show­room from as far away as Bri­tish Columbia. There is a good ex­change of ideas and great con­ver­sa­tions,” she says.

Faye Pike, a new­comer to the tour, says she has al­ways been a big fan of Art Across the Marsh and has vis­ited many stu­dios over the years as part of the an­nual event.

“I have per­son­ally en­joyed view­ing the Art Across the Marsh gallery tour in the past and am now pleased, for the first time, to have my Blue Heron Gallery in­cluded on the tour,” says the Lorneville, N.S. painter.

Lyon says the stu­dio tour has grown and evolved to the point where it has be­come a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic gen­er­a­tor, not just for the artists them­selves but for other busi­nesses in the re­gion as well, such as lo­cal restau­rants and down­town shops.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the tour, check out­tacross­the­ or phone Robert Lyon at 536-1904. Maps are avail­able at par­tic­i­pat­ing stu­dios, on­line, or at the Sackville tourist bu­reau.


This year’s Art Across the Marsh stu­dio tour will fea­ture 22 stops, show­cas­ing the work of 40 artists. Above, long-time tour or­ga­nizer Robert Lyon works in his Wel­don Street stu­dio.

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