Fairfield artists invite you in for a look around their studio

Roy Mercer invites visitors into his home studio on Oxford Street this weekend during the Fairfield Artist Studio Tour.

Studio tour celebrating 10th anniversary

It was born in a kitchen in Fairfield, and now lives in about 30 kitchens, basements, garages and studios.

Wherever the artists of Fairfield do their work, they’ve opened their doors and are inviting the public in for their 10th Artists Studio Tour.

“I’m very happy to do that and very happy to have people ask me about it, and very happy to have children touch the clay,” said potter Joan Kagan.

This is her second year on the tour, after moving to Victoria just over two years ago. She and partner (and fellow artist) Erwin Schulman were enthralled with the idea and signed on immediately. The tour was dreamed up at the table of well-known artists Robert and Sara Amos, who live in Fairfield. That first year, about 12 artists signed up to host people in their studios, talk about art and show how it all comes together. That year, rumour has it, about 1,200 people strolled through the Amos’ home.

Kagan had about 150 people come through last year, but this time expects about 300.

“(It’s) just to broaden people’s appreciation of looking at art and getting the inside story,” she said of the reasons for having the tour. “I think that makes (a piece) a much more special possession.”

She likes to explain how it takes 12 hours to heat her kiln to 2,300 C to fire her pottery, and that it takes another 12 hours to cool the kiln after. “People ask how long it takes to make a piece,” she said. “The answer is 10 days. It takes 10 minutes to make it on the wheel, but it has to be fired, coloured and fired again.”

Her house serves as the studio for three artists: herself, digital artist Schulman, and studio-mate Mary Brownscombe, who creates textile objects. “People tend to want to see the artists in their own environment,” Kagan said.

This year’s Fairfeild  tour has 41 artists,  (some will show together in common spacesat the Garry Oak Room and at Fairfield United Church). They work in a variety of media, including pottery, glass, paint, textiles, jewelry and sculpture.

Greater Victoria has an affinity for art, Kagan said, with a high proportion of artists per capita. That helps generate interest for the tour from the public. “There are people who are predisposed, who want to look at art, want to see as much as they can, know as much as they can know. I think in Victoria, from what (Erwin and I) can tell from our short time here, is there is real interest and love for art.”

The free event happens Saturday (April 30) and Sunday (May 1) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Many artists will serve refreshments.

For a map visit www.fairfield artistsstudiotour.com/map.htm.

ecardone@vicnews.com

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