After a year off because of the pandemic, the Whidbey Art Trail returns for its 10th season.
Starting June 1, art connoisseurs are invited to take a self-guided tour through some of Whidbey’s galleries, sculpture parks and studios.
Artists willing to host and educate visitors year-round are invited to apply. The trail runs until May 31, 2022.
Studio visits are encouraged and every Whidbey Art Trail member is following COVID-19 guidelines.
This year, 24 artists signed up to be on the map, representing just about every corner of the island. A full list of participants is available at whidbeyarttrail.com.
Robert Adamson and Janis Swalwell, of Island Art Glass, have been a part of the Whidbey Art Trail every year.
The couple’s glass-blowing studio in Langley is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and weekdays by appointment.
Adamson, who has been working with glass for more than 50 years, says the Whidbey Art Trail helps bring more people than usual to Island Art Glass.
Creations from the studio include colourful lilies, birds, fish, bowls and vases.
Mary Ellen O’Connor, of Willow Pond Studio, has also been a part of the Whidbey Art Trail since its first year. The Coupeville artist specializes in handmade wall panels and jewellery in copper, silver and gold.
“I love the idea of the art trail as a way to bring people living on Whidbey, as well as visitors, off the beaten path and into the studios of artists,” she says.
“I think seeing art being created helps people understand what it takes to make a piece of work,” O’Connor says.
Her studio is open by appointment. Visitors will discover that in her studio, her motto is “Creativity is not a pretty sight.”
Robbie Lobell, of Cook on Clay, is a founding member of the Whidbey Art Trail.
“When we lived in Coupeville down on a dirt road on 11 acres, getting people to our studio, the visitors needed to really want to go there,” she said.
Her studio recently moved near downtown Langley, where it has greater visibility. A grand opening is scheduled for June 11 to 13.
When open, hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday and by appointment.
Lobell, who specializes in making flameproof cookware, said the art trail map allows people to focus on a certain art medium or a specific region of the island.
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