SPOTLIGHT: Take the road toward art this weekend on the Whidbey Open Studio Tour

Posted in Feature, Spotlight, Visual Art

The  Whidbey Island Arts Council strives to connect people to the arts on the island and it does just that through a variety programs and events on the island.

But it’s biggest fandango by far is its annual Whidbey Open Studio Tour, happening  this weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7.

There are about 60 artists on the tour this year, some of whom are on the year-round Whidbey Art Trail, another council sponsored opportunity to see Whidbey Island artists at other times throughout the year. But this weekend, its 60 artists at 45 locations, so get planning!

Here’s just a smattering of what to expect to wet that art lover’s whistle.

Painter Leogene Brown is at 24 on the tour map and says she wants to paint everything that surrounds her, whether it’s a breathtaking sunset or a child at play.

Painting by Leogene Brown, photo courtesy of WIAC.

“There is a wealth of subject matter and I want to paint it all,” Brown said.

Photographer Denis Hill is at studio number 38. He’s madly in love with his camera and it shows.

Photograph by Denis Hill, courtesy of WIAC website.

Over at Island Art Glass, at number 18, Jan Swawell and Rob Adamson have been producing the most amazing, colorful, hand-blown glass pieces for more than 40 years. No really. Amazingly beautiful; go see it.

Glass works by Jan Swalwell and Rob Adamson, photo courtesy of WIAC website.

At number 25, jewelry creator Barb Mundell is inspired, as many of these island artists are, by the natural beauty that surrounds her to make her original wearable art.

Jewelry piece by Barb Mundell, photo courtesy of WIAC website.

“I enjoy fabricating metal in natural themes. Leaves, flowers, branches, seashell, seaweed forms, flames,” Mundell said.

Another photographer, Lorraine Healy, is at studio number 16. It seems like Healy has an advantage being also an accomplished poet. She has the ability to somehow make a photo look like a poem.

Photograph by Lorraine Healy, courtesy of WIAC website.

“I travel, I see, I capture on medium format film with a plastic camera, again, and again, and again,” said the artist.

At number 36, textile guru Mary Burks, talks the natural world into being her muse.

“I like to use the physical properties of fibers creatively. Textiles and I have a daily dialog about our natural world,” Burks said.

Textile art by Mary Burks, photo courtesy of WIAC website.

Number 3, over at Sweetwater Creek Farm Studio, Sandra Whiting makes these cool scribblers’ books using her printmaking skills.

Handmade books by Sandra Whiting, photo courtesy of WIAC website.

Anyway, you get the idea. There’s a lot of talent on Whidbey and it’s all just waiting to welcome more art lovers and the self-guided tour takes the pressure off the viewer. Take time, stop for lunch, chat with the artists. This cool, interactive map makes it very easy to plan out the two-days of finding your favorites.

Here’s a link to all the artists and their work.

The self-guided tour is free. Plan your visit using the map and make it easy.  (Here’s a pdf. ) The yellow tour signs will help guide the way. Also, use a smart phone and the QR code in the brochure.

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(At top, a piece by painter Angie Dixon who is number 12 on the studio tour.)

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