Royston scratchboard artist Sharon Lennox, seen in this file photo with her Juror’s Choice Award from the 2017 Sidney Fine Arts Show, is one of the many artists featured on the Central Island Arts Guide website.

2020 Central Island Studio Tour goes digital

More than 100 artists have been gearing up for the 2020 Central Island Studio Tour, but COVID-19 has forced a change of plans.

Set for its usual end of May dates (29-31 this year), in a quick pivot, Comox Valley Arts, the Community Arts Council and organizer of the tour, have regrouped to bring audiences into artist studios virtually, for anytime, year-round viewing.

Even when doors close, #culturedoesntstop. That’s the overriding theme from B.C.’s cultural sector right now. And this event is no different.

The tour – which comprises more than 100 artists from Parksville to Campbell River – was already digitally accessible through a robust website full of photos of the artists’ work. CVA is taking this opportunity to build out the website even further with upcoming livestreams, recorded tours, artist interviews, and panel discussions. The first few are already up and more are on the way.

It’s easy to explore. Visit centralislandartsguide.ca and click on an artist! If you know an artist by name, you can search for them, or search a genre, location, or a type of work. You can save your favourites. You can connect directly with each artist to learn more, or start on the Virtual Tours page, and go from there.

Artists can also be followed via social media. Most of them have Facebook or Instagram profiles where they share their work.

Order a hard copy of the beautiful 2020 Arts Guide, free by mail, as they can’t currently be distributed to usual pickup locations.

Artists within the region are also able to join in if they hadn’t already chosen to participate. See the website for details.

It will remain to be seen if or when the in-person studio tour and art crawl can be rescheduled. Hopefully, at least, during the summer artists will be able to schedule appointments with individual visitors to share their work. Please reach out to artists in your community.

Arts and cultureComox Valley

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Lately, Sharon has been focusing on feathers for scratchboard creations. Here’s an example. Photo submitted.

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