By Simon Hopkins
The West End Studio Tour showcasing artists from across Ottawa returns this month.
Fifteen studios featuring 18 artists will be open to the public to explore and view beautiful pieces. You can visit the creators in their studios the last two weekends of September, and walkers, drivers, or bikers are encouraged to attend.
The group of artists has worked together for 29 years to support art in the West Ottawa community.
“It is very special to have cultivated such a unique and close-knit group of artists to support each other,” said Margaret Chwialkowska, an artist from Carlingwood.
Each year’s tour allows the artists to expand their network and grow their exposure.
Neighbours who might not know about a local art studio can see what’s being created locally in their community. It builds connections which help support the artists’ businesses.
“Visitors feel like they get to know us and our work on a personal level because they’re coming into our houses,” said Chwialkowska. She added the West End Studio Tour is her favourite of all the shows she participates in.
The collection of contributing artists varies in age, with some participants showing art for the first time and others who have participated for over two decades.
This year’s new artists are painter Alexander Zoubek and texture artist Andrea Elena.
Alexander is the grandson of Paula Zoubek, a founding tour member. Though inspired by his grandmother, Alexander has his own distinct style focusing on interior spaces.
“Even though we have the same last name on the tour, people will be able to see the difference,” he said. Alexander’s art will be shown alongside Paula’s at her Champlain Park studio.
The 2023 show will also recognize the long-time contribution of founding member David W. Jones who is retiring. Pieces of his work will be shown at each of the studios.
The show runs between Sept. 16-17 and 23-24, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The studios are located between Parkdale and Woodroffe Avenues, north of the Queensway.
Details can be found on the tour’s new website: westendstudiotour.com.