Grey Bruce Arts on the Map

Barbara Pearn in her home studio with this year’s edition of The Art Map. Submitted Photo.

Gloria’s note: This is a guest blog by Kate Russell.

     Planning an artistic road trip this summer? Be sure to pick up The Art Map to find your way to out-of-the-way studios and village galleries scattered throughout Grey and Bruce counties.
     “There’s quite a range of experiences,” said publisher Barbara Pearn at her Eugenia studio recently. “This year there will be three open studio weekends so people visit studios usually only open by appointment.”
     Aside from artist home studios, galleries, studio tours and events listed on the map, the open weekends are set for August 6 -7; October 8-9 and November 26-27. Each weekend includes about 20 studios and gallery locations.
     “Some of the artists are setting up special events for the open studio weekends,” added Pearn. “There are tons of locations for people to visit, each with their own unique products.
     She explained the usual way to visit home galleries is through appointment, during their business hours or on studio tours. Every studio and gallery has their own regular hours but during the open studio weekends, the hours will be the same 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The participating studios are listed on The Art Map for each of the three open weekends. Or visit www.theartmap.com to see the list of open studios.
     “Some people may be too shy or intimidated to make appointments,” said Pearn. “This will help them feel more comfortable and make it easy for visitors to see the artists. The map covers a huge area, so there are three weekends – in different seasons – so people can take their time and visit as many as they want.”
     So, whether you’re a regional resident, visiting friends and relatives or seeking a creative tourist adventure, if it’s art you want, The Art Map is an excellent place to start.
     Now in its seventh year, this regional studio hunter’s guide covers the Grey & Bruce counties, the southern Georgian Bay area and popular summer destination Manitoulin Island. Over 23,000 of the maps will be distributed this year across Southwestern Ontario.
     “This is a rural area with village galleries and out-of-the-way studios making it difficult for artists to promote themselves individually,” said Pearn, adding the map is part of the regional tourism promotion “stamp” campaign every year. “The Art Map makes it easier for tourists to find those out-of-the-way artistic gems.”
     Indeed though some galleries, like Infinite Glassworks at Eugenia Falls, enjoy proximity to other tourist attractions, many of the more than 45 studios and galleries on the map are off the beaten path. Some of the galleries on The Art Map have more than 40 members, so you can really see a wide variety of work.
     “The Art Map makes it easy for people to have an artistic experience in our area,” said Pearn, who keeps a home painting studio and an online gallery as well as running Colourpix, her home-based graphic and web design company. “The map is for people who enjoy art. We know people use it to plan their trip through the area and travel writers include the link in stories. It is a great resource to explore our area.”
     The map includes home studios, galleries, art shows, studio tours, workshops, art events and art schools and art supplies. Following numbered locations as a guide, cultural travellers may see glass blowers, jewelers, painters, photographers, potters, fibre artists, co-op galleries with multiple artists and even food created by local artisans.
     “The map has a huge number of artists, it’s very valuable for visitors to the area,” offers Pearn, who adds the Beaver Valley Accommodations are also on the map for those seeking to stay in the area for a creatively-inspired weekend. “The map can keep people busy for a three-day weekend if they want to visit all the locations.”
     Plan an art weekend by category or town by checking out www.theartmap.com.

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