Keep an eye open this weekend on the “creative edge” of Canmore for a herd with artistic flair.
Every year there are rituals that locals and visitors alike are familiar with when it starts getting colder outside, including elk clashing antlers during the rut; sleepy bears searching for a warm place to hibernate and, of course, the Artists of Elk Run Annual Studio Tour in early December.
The sixth annual tour returns Saturday (Dec. 2) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday (Dec. 3) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., within a two-square block radius in Canmore’s industrial east end.
Centred around Elk Run Boulevard, the 2017 tour features 11 studios in which artists engage the public, give demonstrations of the art making process, and share a diverse range of mediums such as blown glass, jewelry, pottery, painting, photography, printmaking, mixed media and sculpture.
As stone carver Peig Abbott puts it, the artists from the east part of town – the Creative Herd – are rich in talent and creativity.
“I think there’s something really special about people getting an opportunity to meet the artist behind the art, to engage them, and to make it a little more personable,” Abbott said. “Every studio is really different and they all offer something unique.”
A trio of artists new to the tour have joined the herd this year – Wanda Ellerbeck, Jennifer d’Entremont, and Dawn Saunders Dahl – and are offering a “fresh, new attitude” to the two-day event.
“They really diversify in what they do,” Abbott said.
The Artists of Elk Run, or the Creative Herd, include Abbott, Ellerbeck, d’Entremont, Saunders Dahl, John Borrowman, Katie Borrowman, Rudi Peet, Beth Woolley Monod, Alexis McKeown, Barbara Rumberger, Deanna McGillivray, Nicole Tremblay, Meg Nicks, Kathryn Cookie, Kari Woo and Tony Bloom (not appearing in this year’s tour).
The collection of artists united under one banner a few years ago and created the studio tour as an incentive for the public to get to know the arts in the east side of town.
“I love the fact that people want to know what we do and people are hungry to understand the process,” said Abbott. “When they come in the studio and see the process, ‘cause there’s going to be demos, then they understand kind of why that price tag is there or what goes into creating that unique piece of art.”
Canmore’s Wild Life Distillery, located just off Elk Run Blvd., is an affiliate business for the 2017 studio tour and the distilling masters are crafting a special Artists of Elk Run beverage available for thirsty folk to pop in and give it a try at their conveniently located headquarters.
Whether it’s an art lover’s sixth time coming out for the studio tour or first time, the Artists of Elk Run are “thrilled for the support.”
The public can stop by any studio to start out, where tour maps showing the other studios will be available. A map is also available in the Rocky Mountain Outlook newspaper.
For more info, visit www.artistsofelkrun.com.