Wednesday, August 13

North of Muskoka Studio Tour

It's no surprise that the rugged, colourful landscape of the Almaguin Highlands is the chosen home of many artists and artisans. The good news for visitors is you don't have to travel far from the inn to view and admire their work.

The North of Muskoka Tour features three studio/galleries from Emsdale to Burk's Falls, and we'll provide a map and routing for interested guests.

Jim and I recently paid a visit to one of the stops on the tour, the Karen Robinson Gallery, just a few country blocks from here. Karen is the exclusive dealer for renowned artist Mendelson Joe, and her gallery showcases a selection of his original paintings, reproductions, books and CDs. Also on display are Karen's own pen and ink drawings, as well as a variety of pieces from other artists.

Before visiting the gallery, I was already familiar with some of M. Joe's work —but on a small scale. I've perused his striking portraits in his Working Women book collection and appreciated a gift of postcard reproductions of his landscapes; and Jim and I thoroughly enjoyed a segment on the artist during an episode of the Rick Mercer Report. But nothing compares to the full size paintings and reproductions.

I particularly love M. Joe's landscapes and folk scenes. When I look at his Almaguin skies and tree-scapes, I feel the same tight little tug in my chest that I feel gazing out over the real thing. Joe expresses in colour, lighting and shape just what I feel about the place I decided to call home.

Star Lake Road, Emsdale
July & August open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm
May, June, September, October open Saturday & Sunday 11am to 5pm
November to April by appointment

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Also on the tour, and located just a few minutes away on Fern Glen Rd, is Shifting Earth Gallery/Studio, home and workspace of international artist Sally Ferguson.

Sally works in mixed media in a style referred to as 'formed abstract'. Visit her gallery and studio in the beautifully restored barn on her 10 acre country property. Read about our visit to the gallery.

Fern Glen Road, Emsdale
Open by chance or by appointment.

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Just a little further afield, outside the town of Burk's Falls, is the R.W. Haviland Studio/Gallery, where Canadian artist R.W. (Bobbi) Haviland creates and showcases art on large canvasses.

Ferguson Road, Burk's Falls
Summer, Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm; or phone for appointment.

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