How often do you get to visit an internationally acclaimed artist in their own studio and watch them working at their craft?
As a long time resident I’m aware of the large number of artists who are attracted to the lifestyle and beauty of the Sunshine Coast. But last year I was given an insider’s list of the “best of the best” studios to visit during the annual Sunshine Coast ART CRAWL. I had an amazing weekend and came away with a whole new appreciation for the tremendous amount of talent hidden away in this colourful, eclectic community.
With this much anticipated event just a few weeks away I decided it was time to update this post.
This is a great weekend getaway where you can take a scenic coastal tour of 135+ galleries, artist studios and more. You’ll have a chance to meet the artists in their studios and experience the vibrant arts and culture community on the Sunshine Coast. There’s no pressure to buy, just a weekend for you to see some new art, talk with the artists and most of all, to enjoy the experience.
Last year there were several opening night receptions taking place up and down the Coast. Goldmoss Studio in Roberts Creek was definitely “the place to be” and Fresh from the Coast in Sechelt, offering live music and a demonstration by local artist Brett Varney, also attracted a good crowd.
Just a few doors down the street, Artworks celebrated with more food and music and a demonstration by contemporary artist Donna Swain. It was a magical experience watching this image emerge on her canvas.
As the evening progressed, a large crowd converged at RockHouse Studio... even the Mayor showed up to help celebrate Art on the Sunshine Coast. RockHouse, as the name implies features a large granite interior wall which was an intersting counterpoint to the work of impressionist painter Dana Caple Smith.
Saturday morning broke with unexpected sunny skies and I was really looking forward to visiting my “best of the best” list of Arts Crawl participants in the Roberts Creek area.
This is it. Design, a glassworks studio, is tucked away deep in the woods of Upper Roberts Creek, and this modernistic studio, filled with treats both inside and out, is now on my official visitors’ must see list.
Further up the road, as I drove deeper into the forest I found yet another hidden jewel, just down a roadway behind this interesting street marker.
Andrew Dunkerton came to the Coast in 1975 and has lovingly crafted his beautiful post and beam studio from the trees on his small acreage. Andrew’s love of wood carries on into the studio where he has created beautiful Northwest Coast style masks and bentwood boxes.
My next stop was filled with more surprises. Goldmoss Gallery, with polished concrete floors, high ceilings and large windows offering magestic ocean vistas beyond would not be out of place in an urbane setting were it not for the majestic tall cedars surrounding the gallery. Goldmoss, which opened in 2010 provides a mix of work by local artists Bon and Lee Roberts as well as others from afar, and their goal is “to provide original fine art to established and emerging collectors.”
Sunday brought forth another sunny morning. It was going to be a perfect day for a drive up the Coast to visit a special studio in Halfmoon Bay. But first I wanted to re-visit the studio of Laurie Rolland. Laurie’s small tidy studio in Davis Bay belies her status as an artist whose pottery has been displayed internationally and held in both corporate and public collections (as well as my own)
George Pratt’s studio was the last on my list and I was looking forward to my visit. Like many artists that I had met this weekend, George was drawn to the Coast as much by its lifestyle as its beauty. His work is widely collected in North America by private individuals and corporations and several large works have been commissioned for public display in Canada. Some also have been presentation works for foreign dignitaries including Prince Phillip and Bill Clinton. I was greeted by several of his creations as I walked up the driveway.
His home based studio, set on five acres of rock and trees offers inspiring panoramic views of Welcome Passage and Thormanby Island. More recently, this talented artist has turned to painting and coming inside his studio of vibrant colours was like a fine dessert to end this wonderful weekend.
I’m really looking forward to this year’s Art Crawl. The studio guide has just been published and I know that I’ll be in for a very full weekend.
Follow this link to return to my website at www.coraclecove.com or to read some of my other recommendations for the Sunshine Coast.