Mark Zimmerl, a longstanding artist and current treasurer of the tour says, “you can feel the energy” as artists prepare for the 32nd edition of this popular annual event after the 2020 one was cancelled due to COVID-19. He says the artists are well stocked with inventory they hope to sell. It is expected that the attendance will surpass the usual 10,000 because people have pent up desire for interesting excursions. Visitors will be thirsty for the local scenery, the art and exchanges with creative people. It remains to be seen whether the border will open up in time for American visitors.

During this nine-day event (July 10 to 18) 36 Township artists open up their home studios to visitors and offer a daily hands-on demonstration of their techniques. A wide variety of crafts are on the menu including woodworking, ceramics, painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture and more.

There are seven newcomers to the tour: Garry Hamilton, who has been painting since kindergarten, says, “I hope to have a lot of visitors come through and sell some paintings.” He has a talent for “capturing the story in the faces” of his water color subjects.

Cabinetmaker, John Glendinning, makes heirloom quality pieces of furniture, bowls (as in the cover of the Tour des Arts brochure) etc. “I am hoping to gauge the feasibility of doing this full time out here,” he says. He has been working with wood for 35 years and currently has a day job in Montreal.

Philippe Chevarier, who was on the tour many years ago, has come back with a new art form he has been delving into. He considers the tour a laboratory. “I want to see the interest and reaction. I hope to share my passion for turning drawings into dimensional objects for the outdoors.” Alisa Sushko, who grew up in the former Soviet Union, is hoping to share her passion for ceramic sculptures. Alisa, an accountant, is currently enjoying ceramic studies at Concordia.

Both Lucy Pietraszkiewicz and Shelly-Lynn Page say they are excited about being on the tour. Lucy, who makes Bohemian style jewelry with semi-precious stones, was doing the markets and COVID-19 pushed her to build a proper studio. Shelly-Lynn has been working with stained glass for over 40 years. A good chunk of her work is custom design.

Ewa Scheer has this reason for doing the tour “to show what I do and how what I do might be useful.” Ewa’s art practice is varied (drawing, painting, photography) but her true passion lies in everyday life aesthetics. Ewa creates beauty with everything she touches. Having grown up in Communist Poland gives her a unique vantage point. No doubt you will find her and her art fascinating.

Please note that the vernissage that is usually held at Arts Sutton on the eve of the event has been replaced with a virtual vernissage. To RSVP and for more details please go to ArtsSutton.com.