Take Your Mother on an Artistic Tour Through the Rolling Hills of the Bethany Area

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Photos Karen Graham. Visit local art studios including Valerie Kent’s gallery and Laurie Stephenson’s Garden Studio during the Rolling Hills Studio Tour on Mother’s Day weekend.

Celebrate Mother’s Day by taking her on a tour of the rolling countryside around Bethany and introduce her to local artists in their own studios during the annual Rolling Hills Studio tour.  It runs on Saturday and Sunday of the Mother’s Day weekend from 10 am to 5 pm, and participants can go at their own pace and visit the studios that interest them the most during this free self-guided tour.  In addition to artistic displays designed by twelve artists and crafts people, there will also be demonstrations of pottery, jewellery, gourd art, paintings, wood working, feather art, and more at the nine featured studios.

New to the annual event is local artist, art journalist, educator and gallery owner Valerie Kent of Cavan Art Gallery and Academy.   Although relatively new to the area, Kent is well known thanks to her extensive outreach activities throughout the community, which include hosting art workshops in local elementary schools, classes in her studio and organizing the incredible Pleine Air event in September 2016.

On Saturday, visitors to Cavan Art Gallery will see local artist Lucy Manley deliver a workshop on painting summer landscapes in oil and acrylic, while on Sunday portrait artist David Flett will be on hand producing portraits for some lucky participants who will be selected through draws.

Another new stop on the tour is Laurie’s Antique Garden Studio on Ballyduff Road in Pontypool.  Laurie has always loved nature and has used it to inspire her photography, her painting and nurture her spirit.  When she moved back to the country six years ago, digging in her garden she discovered pieces of history originating from the original homestead; pieces of broken china, horseshoes and a half buried one man plough. This prompted her to find new uses for these artifacts through a new hobby of repurposing, as she began collecting and creating one-of-a-kind pieces that everyone could enjoy inside and out.  Her creations include hanging solar lights, swag lighting, barn board coat hooks, wire reel wine chiller/table and necklaces from silverware.  She has restored the existing old garage on her property into a studio, “Laurie’s Antique Garden Studio”, giving her a place to continue exploring her creative talents.

Also on the tour are returning locations including Williams Design Studio, Lucya Fatima Almeida’s studio and Jodie Hames’ Clayworks Pottery. This Mother’s Day, take advantage of this opportunity to see and appreciate a wide variety of art forms, from pottery to textiles, stone and metal sculpture, photography, handmade jewellery and paintings on canvas and feathers created by local artists.  There will be something for everyone and their mothers. KG

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