Village artists open studios

Oak Bay Artists’ Studio Tour, happens this weekend from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Oak Bay artist Imke Pearson loves talking to people about her art.

And because painting is generally a solo venture, she always looks forward to the Oak Bay Artists’ Studio Tour, happening this weekend from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

“During the studio tour you get to talk to everybody and get their reaction to your work. It’s really fun,” Pearson said. “I actually started doing this with a neighbour in 1986. We had studio tours with people coming to the house. It wasn’t official back then.”

The studio tour allows artists to open their homes, using it as a backdrop to showcase their artwork for the public. The tour officially started in 1999 with the district actively encouraging and promoting the event. Recreation Oak Bay produces a map with addresses of the 27 participating artists.

Pearson said the tour has grown in popularity in the last 14 years.

“I’ve actually had close to 300 people come through on the two afternoons,” she said. “I have the whole main floor of the house open and a couple of friends help me out.”

Pearson paints regularly, with acrylic and watercolour, and she also does monotype art, which involves painting on glass and transferring it to paper.

Nicala Hicks is a glass participating in the tour for the first time. She teaches art in Oak Bay and has recently done a few commissions in the Uplands.

Participating in the studio tour allows her to introduce herself as a new artist in the community, although she has been in the field for more than 10 years. Hicks has been busy this week converting a garage into her new studio, which she plans to finish in time for the weekend tour.

“I’m quite excited to gauge people’s response to the work that I create,” Hicks said. “I feel honoured to be part of the tour.”

Other types of art featured include fibre, photography, tile, glass, film and pottery.

The studio tour map can be found by clicking the event calendar at oakbay.ca.