News

Oxford County 11th annual studio tour attracts art lovers from near and far

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Otterville artist Sue Goossens is co-organizer of the Oxford Studio Tour. HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW

Otterville artist Sue Goossens is co-organizer of the Oxford Studio Tour. HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW

It was a great way to discover Oxford County’s art scene while exploring the highways and byways of its countryside Saturday and Sunday.

While navigating county roads, art lovers were treated to works by more than 35 artists, working in mediums such as oil, watercolour, mixed media, as well as photography and pottery.

In Sue Goossens’ home, located on a former tobacco farm near Otterville that is now is used to produce rainbow trout, dozens of paintings from her lengthy career were on display and up for sale.

Goossens, who co-organizes the show, said the tour started 11 years ago when a group of weavers in Woodstock asked her for advice on how to organize an art tour.

Otterville had previously hosted their own popular studio tour that Goossens had been involved with. Eventually they decided to hold one large tour that encompassed the entire county.

“It grows and shrinks and grows again,” Goossens said. “Artists retire and then we get younger ones or new ones who have moved to the county. You have to be a resident of Oxford County to participate.”

Artists, she said, across the county work “very hard” to produce the show, she said.

“The quality of work is amazing,” she said.

Goossens specialty is watercolours on canvass, a relatively rare technique that involves treating the canvas so it behaves like watercolour paper.

“I like being creative,” she said. “It’s an outlet.”

On display in several shops and galleries, her works also adorn the walls of SixThirtyNine, a popular restaurant in Woodstock.

East York artist Nola McConnan said she made the trip from the GTA to experience what the county’s artists had to offer.

“I’m attracted to rural agricultural Ontario,” she said. “I wanted to see the artists in their native habitat.”

Those who may have missed the tour can check out the website at www.oxfordstudiotour.ca and contact the artist they are interested in.

HRivers@postmedia.com