San Juan artists to showcase work during studio tour June 7-8

Nancy Spaulding’s pastels will be on display at this weekend’s Artist Studio Tour.

Nancy Spaulding’s pastels will be on display at this weekend’s Artist Studio Tour.

San Juan Island artists throw open their studio doors for all to come in and see this weekend in the 17th annual Artists’ Studio Tour.

The event is Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eleven featured artists will invite in not just the public, but also 16 other local artists who will show their work in the featured artists’ galleries.

The tour highlights a variety of artists and their works in many media — including furniture painting, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, quilting and sculpture.

The Artists’ Studio Tour is part of the Summer Kick-off Weekend, a series of events spread over three weekends between May 30 and June 15.

This year, four artists are new, according to Mary Sly, one of the founding members of the tour and a guest artist showing her fabric and textile art at Ann Walbert’s gallery on Lampard Road.

Laurie Burnes works with glass and metal art. “She’s a pretty well-known glass artist, nationally,” said Lewis Spaulding, whose photography will be on display along with his wife Nancy’s pastels and mixed media pieces. “She does really big pieces of art — wall pieces, generally. Her studio (at Cape San Juan) has a lot of interesting specialized equipment in it. It should be a really interesting studio to go to, I would think.”

Mary Gey McCulloch does fine art in a variety of mediums. She’ll share her space with William and Rudi Ann Weissinger, who will show their own work in stone sculpture and painting.

Weaver Margaret Thorson of Thousand Flower Farm on Waldron Island will show her work with McCulloch as well.

Julie Ross works as a quilt maker and designer.

“I love being part of a craft that’s been handed down through generations of women,” Ross said. “Quilts tell stories. They bring comfort and security. There’s a connection and a relationship between the quilt-maker and the quilt recipient.”

Ross stays busy working with her hands and makes about 30 quilts each year, she said.

“Probably the biggest reason I make quilts is that it’s a way I can show love to people. People call me sometimes and they’ll tell me about someone in their life who is suffering from cancer or something, and I’m thinking about who’s going to get them even though I may not know who it is. Every time I make a baby quilt, I do think about that person.”

Ross will be conducting a quilting demonstration at her studio Saturday and Sunday and she’ll be sharing her studio space with fellow artists Janet Doane, Winnie Brumsickle and Brenna Woods.

Cinda Sue Dow works in painted furniture and pastels. “I like to do people. People and animals more than landscapes,” she said.

“In the past few years, I’ve been doing painted furniture. The thing I like about furniture is that I take things that people throw away and I turn it into something that is totally different, sometimes. It’s fun to see what kind of life it has after it’s been thrown out. The furniture talks to me and tells me what it wants.”

By sheer happenstance, most of the galleries featured this year will be either in town or on the south end of the island. One studio not to be overlooked is the only one that floats: photographer Peter Fromm’s gallery and studio he built that’s moored down on the main dock at the port. He drags it around with him throughout the summer, and it’s often seen floating in Reed Harbor on Stuart Island each summer.

The studio tour is self-guided and free. Each gallery will also have door prizes. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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