Saanich Peninsula artists open their doors for studio tour

ArtSea studio tour spans all genres

Twenty-seven Saanich Peninsula artists will show their artistic works at the annual ArtSea Fall Studio Tour, happening Oct. 20 to 21 across the Saanich Peninsula.

Wendy Picken, Studio Tour Lead with ArtSea, said there are many new artists this year, and some artists that have not returned in many years.

The tour features pottery, painting, fabric work, woodworking, sculpture, and jewelry. Picken is excited about the fibre artists, who have mass-produced pieces as well as one-of-a-kind gems using knitting, wall hangings, collage quilts, and more. Picken herself is a mixed-medium artist.

RELATED: Sidney Fine Art Show features studio tour artists

“I describe it as finger painting without the paint,” said Picken, who works with waxy combinations with her fingers.

Picken has been an artist on the studio tour since 2000, and took the lead in organizing this year. She said she enjoyed the work, especially giving advice to new artists on the tour who may not have welcomed 100 people to the studio in a day.

Most of the studios are in Sidney and North Saanich, but some are on the outskirts of the Peninsula, including one by Michell’s Farm Market in Central Saanich.

A number of artists in the studio tour were also in the Sidney Fine Arts Show this past weekend, “so it’s a nice opportunity to visit them in their studio and see what inspires them at home.”

She said it is a excellent way for people, especially newcomers to Sidney, to better understand their community.

“I think of myself as a welcome wagon, an artistic welcome wagon, and I’m sure other artists feel themselves as ambassadors of the community, too.”

The self-guided ArtSea Studio Tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 20 to 21. Picken said they are running low on physical maps, but their website has a list of where to find them, as well as an electronic copy. For more information, visit

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