Forest art tour to mark 10th anniversary
By Jenn Watt
Published July 19, 2016
The Highlands’ summer art tour, Tour de Forest, has rolled out a special exhibition this year in Haliburton to connect the public with the artists ahead of the tour itself.
“We’ve put an exhibit at Baked and Battered for the month of July,” said Tour de Forest chairwoman and artist Charlene McConnell.
On Tuesday, July 12, the group hosted a meet the artist celebration with coffee, croissants and conversation with most of the artists in attendance. The art will be up at the coffee shop on Highland Street for the whole month.
“We wanted to be in a situation where we can get to know the public more and offer our appreciation for their support,” said McConnell.
Tour de Forest is a two-day event with 14 locations and 26 artists participating. There are potters and photographers, painters and pen-and-ink illustrators.
The tour started a decade ago, McConnell said.
“There was a group of core local artists who wanted to see a summer tour in Haliburton and also wanted to enable younger artists or new artists the opportunity to have that experience … without being obligated to have an enormous amount of stock,” she said.
Most studios have more than one artist, adding variety. Not all guest artists are from the Haliburton area, but each has a connection either as a friend, former cottager or relative of the local artists.
Plus, summer in the Highlands makes for an ideal backdrop for art.
“A lot of the studios do have beautiful gardens that people enjoy walking through and with guests the tents are set up in the garden, so it’s a pleasant environment to view art,” McConnell said.
Locations are grouped relatively tightly with most of them within 20 minutes of Haliburton Village. McConnell said there are several groups of art enthusiasts who strive to visit all 14 studios each year.
As an added incentive of visiting more locations, Tour de Forest is raffling one $200 gift certificate, which can be spent with any of the tour’s artists. You can fill out a ballot at each location, meaning those people who visit more studios can enter more times.
Tour de Forest is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31. For more information, go to haliburtontourdeforest.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705-754-3356.