Every September, the Langley arts community’s collaborative efforts form the well known Langley Art Studio Tour; a self-guided tour spread across two weekends in late September. The tour showcases local art studios that wind a route throughout picturesque Langley. Headed by co-founders (and artists) Deborah Strong of Cat and Mouse Designs and Vivian Harder of Thunderfoot Studio, the goal of the Langley Art Studio Tour is “to showcase the visual arts in the Langley community and create connections between artists working in isolation from one another”.
This scenic drive through the Langley countryside offers a peak into the lives of talented local painters, potters, printmakers, jewelers, glass makers and other artisans. The 43 artists involved in this year’s tour are opening up their homes and warmly welcoming those interested in their work a unique opportunity to witness firsthand, artwork in the making! The tour offers the opportunity to learn about what goes into each piece of work and how these beautiful creations come to fruition from the initial inspiration and concept stage to the final product. Some stops will offer demos and even hands-on opportunities to bring out your own creative side, and of course most pieces are for sale!
In addition to the 21 studio stops on the tour, there are five ‘stops of interest’ that either have guest artists on-site or are showcasing a unique artisanal component. The Fort Gallery features artists year-round at their location in the historic and picturesque village of Fort Langley. They specifically feature artists who “are exploring their personal edge, their individual frontiers, in order to discover their full potential and dialogue with the community”. Krause Berry Farms is not only a great place to stop for lunch along the route, but you will also be able to view on-site, works from Audrey Bakewell and Wendy Mould. A popular stop on the Circle Farm Tour, Krause Berry Farms offers a market of farm fresh produce and fruit, a porch to sit, relax and devour the delectable sights and sounds of the working farm, as well as numerous berry inspired creations to make anyone’s mouth water. Kensington Prairie Farm, a family-owned alpaca farm provides the opportunity to view these strange but adorable creatures, as well as purchase local apparel product, home décor items, and meat in their on-site store. One of Langley’s six wineries, Neck of the Woods offers regular wine tours and tastings and will be featuring two local artists during the Langley Art Studio Tour; Louise Swan and Gary McDonald will be on site on both weekends. The last stop of interest is Flowers from a Country Garden, a floral design company and flower farm which specializes in garden bouquets and includes a popular u-pick garden. No need to remember a bucket or pruners as they’re provided!
New for this year’s tour is the addition of bus tours by Enjoy Travel and Tours that will take you to a number of studios and includes lunch at Krause Berry Farms. The cost for this all inclusive tour is $79 per person. As Langley spans a large area in the Fraser Valley, the distances between studios require vehicle transportation, so this is a great option. View the 2012 Langley Art Studio Tour map here. For more information on the artists and studios that are part of this year’s tour, visit www.langleyartstudiotour.ca. Studios will be open from 10am-5pm on September 22, 23, 29 and 30.
Read our follow-up post after having taken the tour HERE.