Sandra Barrett, local blacksmith and felter, will be participating once again in this year’s Columbia Basin Culture Tour. She’s seen here stoking the flames as she heats up metal to forge. File Photo

Twelfth annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour showcases local artists

Artists from throughout the Elk Valley will be participating in the event August 8 and 9

The Columbia Basin Culture Tour encourages folks to explore artists’ studios, museums, art galleries and heritage sites during a free, self-guided event.

On August 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., residents of the Columbia Basin are being encouraged to see demonstrations, visit new exhibits and collections and to meet the artists behind the scenes of the local cultural scene. All venues participating in this year’s event are implementing COVID-19 safety protocols as per the provincial guidelines, and will be doing their very best to keep everyone safe and healthy.

To participate in the twelfth annual culture tour, residents can simply grab a map and the Culture Tour Directory. From there, they can explore their own cultural communities.

In the Elk Valley there are several participating artists, including Katherine Russell in Elkford. Russell invites participants to see her works in progress and to learn about several glass making techniques. She will also have a wide range of her popular glass works for sale.

In Fernie, Kathy Stead will be showcasing her plein-air landscapes in oils, acrylics and watercolours. The Fernie Forge and Eye of the Needle Studio will be sharing metalwork techniques, as well as felt, glass, and copper jewelry. Felter and blacksmith Sandra Barrett will demonstrate wet felting outside, weather permitting.

While in Fernie, those participating in the tour can also stop at H Squared Gallery, a showcase gallery for the works of landscape painter Tara Higgins and potter Kerri Holmes.

Another great stop in Fernie is the Fernie Arts Co-op where a wide variety of media from over 40 artists can be found. The works portray the region and the lifestyle of the Kootenay Rockies through painting, photography, pottery, woodwork, jewelry, leather work, textile art, handmade soaps and home products, glass works and more.

For those looking to continue the journey outside of the Elk Valley, Kimberley is also hosting several artists as part of the culture tour, including the Laurie Crawford Art Studio, Colleen Friesen, Rob Toller, Helen Robertson and the Kimberley Arts Council.

These are just a few of the venues on the 2020 Columbia Basin Culture Tour and for a full list of participating venues, you can visit or call 1-250-505-5505.

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Eye of the Needle studio will be represented at the Columbia Basin Culture Tour by Sandra Barrett, a local mixed-medium artist. File Photo

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