FOCUS - APRIL 2018 19 The idea of holding a studio tour in Scugog to celebrate the new mil- lennium was cooked up by a trio of artists, Bonnie Thomson, Pat Neal and Carey Nicholson, sitting around the kitchen table at Carey’s home on Queen Street in 1999. They knew there were lots of artists in the community willing to share their studios with the public and guest artists, and those early Lake Scugog Studio Tours had around 25 artists at 14 sites. The local community loved it and many of us have some of our most treasured art pieces from those early years. I have baskets by Norene Crosier and Carey, and hand-woven towels by Pat. I see in my friends’ homes, watercolours by Pamela Meacher and pottery by Saundra Reiner. The artists developed professionally and artistically and many new ones were juried on to the tour so that almost 20 years later we have between 40 and 50 artists rep- resenting every imaginable medium - including a lavender garden and studio, and a performing arts theatre company. That original group was on to something. They knew that behold- ing something made by hand brings joy. And there’s no doubt that original art makes your home, garden or office more beautiful and unique. Knowing the artist and learning about how they work connects you directly to that art- work. Now the tour artists are putting a lot of effort into demonstrations and interactive activities. We’ve sched- uled events now, so that if you want to see someone in action you can pick a specific time and site to visit. It’s all described on the website. Perhaps you want to see a woodworker on a lathe, a metal worker with a torch, or better understand the etching pro- cess. You can get hands-on too! Try making your own lavender sachet, printmaking, painting in encaustic or helping Theatre on the Ridge make their props and then see them live this summer. The website is the best way to find out who’s where and what they are up to. Back when the tour started there was just a black and white folded brochure and an ad in the local newspaper. Now the place to communicate is on the web, by social media and in a full colour tour book. People now come from a greater distance and eat out at our local restaurants between site visits. Last year, two couples left my studio for lunch at Marwan’s and to discuss buying a painting. They returned after lunch with the decision made on what painting to buy for above the sofa. A great free weekend of entertainment for you, courtesy of your local artists. To add icing to the cake, there’s now a prize at each site. You just fill out a ballot at every site you visit, and you’ll be entered in a draw for a chance to win a prize val- ued between $75 and $200! You can pick up your tour book at the Scugog Council for the Arts, 181 Perry St., Scugog Memorial Library, 231 Water St. or META4 Gallery, 200 Queen St. and wherever we manage to find a little counter space. Marion Meyers, Special to Focus on Scugog • Photo left: “Watercolour” by Micheal Zarowsky Above: “Encaustic Painting” by Marion Meyers Right: “Porcelain Bowl” by Bill Reddick” This trio is the prize package at site #16! Cathy Mark in her studio at site #8. May 5 & 6 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. art in action