Weavers, metalworkers, pottery makers, painters and even truffle makers – these are just some of the artists whose crafts will be on public display this weekend.
Organized by celebrated Canadian artist Christian Corbet and his protege Joel Aldred, the Sackville Spring Artisans Studio Tour – being held Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – will allow area residents to visit the studios of more than 20 local artists to view and purchase their works.
Corbet said feedback from fellow artisans in the region indicated there was a need for the upcoming tour this time of year.
”We heard a need from the community . . . just the fact that an artist is saying, ‘I need to showcase my pieces, I need to make a living, I need to survive,’ I understand that, I get that, so I said, OK, we’ll create something and we did.”
And spring is, he added, is a perfect time to hold the studio tour.
“It’s a whole new year so why not start off with a kick in your step.”
Corbet said he hopes the spring tour will also serve as a learning experience, both for the artisans and their visitors.
“When you can get inside the doors of artists and see how they work and what they work on and understand why they’re working in it, understand people’s passions, I think it’s wonderful . . . hopefully that will maybe light a spark in somebody else who has always thought about doing pottery or painting or whatever it may be in life.”
Corbet’s passion for sharing art with others also led to the creation of the New Brunswick Potters' Guild (NBPG) in January. He sits as president of the newly-formed group.
The NPGA’s mission is to support and promote potters and ceramicists who work with clay, Corbet said.
“We want to focus, and are focusing, solely on hand-built pottery, wheel-thrown pottery, the ceramicist, studio pottery, functional pottery and trying to bring together a union and a broad cross section of people, whether they be amateur or professional.”
A large part of the NBPG’s mandate will be the sharing of knowledge, Corbet said.
“I think art should be inclusive and we’re gearing it towards being (organized) in a way that it’s available to all people. Art should be available to all people at all times, nor should anybody be eliminated from groups or not included in a group because of their lack of training.”
And the NBPG is already garnering high praise, as evidenced by the guild's first official patron, the retired Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean, who recently issued the following statement:
"I am pleased to accept the position as Patron to the newly formed New Brunswick Potters' Guild. As the province's first official non-profit organization dedicated to solely supporting and encouraging the discipline of pottery, ceramics and its artists, I am delighted to send my very best wishes to all its members and future members and wish them much success in their future endeavours. Creative women and men who exercise the gift of craftsmanship are a precious treasure that our societies cannot do without. They transmit to our youth an inestimable knowledge and expertise and for this we must show our gratitude. "
For more on the Sackville Spring Artisans Studio Tour, including a tour map and list of participating artisans, visit www.sackvilleartisans.com/tour-map.