Karen Curry’s Phasings painting is one of the artistic works people can view during the Gabriola Summer Breeze Studio tour July 20-21.

Karen Curry’s Phasings painting is one of the artistic works people can view during the Gabriola Summer Breeze Studio tour July 20-21.

Tour allows peek into artists’ world

NANAIMO - Inaugural Summer Breeze Studio Cruise is July 20-21 on Gabriola island.

Artists are letting visitors have a personal look at their creative spaces during the Summer Breeze Studio Cruise on Gabriola.

The inaugural tour is July 20-21 and features nearly 30 artists of different mediums including performance artists.

“We have so many people here it’s quite an exciting little adventure to see how it turns out,” said Gabriola’s Sheila Norgate. “I think it’s really important to have an opportunity for emerging artists. We really want to make this a tradition and build a reputation.”

Norgate said it provides an opportunity for not only art appreciators but other artists to connect to a community because many work for extended periods in isolation.

Christine Bletcher, co-organizer of the tour, said the event allows people involved to highlight the rich culture of artistry on the island at a time when there are typically more visitors. The three organizers Bletcher, Kate Wood and Bryan McCrae have worked hard to invite artists from around Vancouver Island to showcase their work at studios. The event also features artists from the Lower Mainland and other coastal islands in B.C.

“It’s terrific to bring more attention to the fact that there are so many artists on the Island,” said Karen Curry.

She works in acrylic and photography.  Each year Curry participates in the annual Thanksgiving tour and said it’s great to have one in the summer months as well. Her studio is open year-round by appointment, but there are other artists where this is the only chance to view their creative spaces.

For silversmith Hayden Harvey the tour is a chance for her to create more awareness about her work. She said it provides a great opportunity for both established and emerging artists to connect with people and share their passion.

She’s been making jewelry for five years and her work will be on display at The Siren Collective. Most of her pieces are inspired by nature.

“I really connect to the ocean and forest and I love looking back at more traditional designs too,” she said. “A lot of it is organic it just comes with sketches.”

Pieces start out pretty rough, but in the end something beautiful emerges.

“I love making jewelry. I’ve always been drawn to it,” said Harvey. “I like the hands-on aspect.”

The Summer Breeze Studio Cruise on Gabriola Island is self-guided. For a complete list of participating artists and a map of the locations please go to www.summerbreezearttour.blogspot.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com