This year’s Columbia Basin Culture Tour includes 10 stops in Castlegar, two in Robson and one is Raspberry.
The tour is a free, self-guided event, taking place on Aug. 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It offers participants the chance to explore artists’ studios, art galleries, museums and heritage sites — some of which are not normally open to the public.
The first two Castlegar stops are both at Linda and Ted Crosfield’s house (932 Columbia Rd.) in Ootischenia.
Linda has been hand making books for the past 16 years.
“In 2001, Ted and I went to New Zealand and up until then I’d always thought of paper as something you wrote on, and I met a paper person at an art collaboration we were attending where I was feeling totally, totally out of place,” explains Linda.
Linda met papermaker Tanya Norman and through their friendship developed a love of paper. She has since learned coptic and stab bookbinding, and uses those techniques to create journals and chapbooks, both for herself and others.
She has also been writing poetry since she was eight and published her first chapbook of poetry in 2004.
Linda also combines her love of poetry and paper by creating visual poetry.
“The other little arty form thing that I do, again this sprung out of New Zealand, are these things that I used to call haikuscapes, except they aren’t really haikus, but I haven’t renamed them yet,” she says.
Her work will be on display during the Columbia Basin Culture Tour and people will have a chance to watch her bind books. Then out in the garage they can see Ted at work turning wood.
Like his wife to bookbinding, Ted came to wood turning later in life.
“I was in my late 30s and I took a woodworking course and on that course I discovered that the thing I liked to do most with wood is turn it. Make it round-ish,” he says. “So I was 42 the first time I decided I was interested in wood turning. I saw a guy making a translucent bowl and I thought, ‘Wow, I’d like to know how to do that.’ I sort of do.”
Ted creates pieces with natural edges.
“Where the bowl maintains the shape of the tree,” he explains. “It’s also referred to as bark edge.”
Those who stop on the tour will have a chance to see his pieces and his shop.
Across from the West Kootenay Regional Airport are three venues for tour goers to check out.
The Kootenay Gallery of Art (120 Heritage Way) has just opened two new exhibitions: Remediating Curtis and Class Act: Digital Arts &New Media Students (see page ).
“The regional artists that we’re representing this time are the graduates of the Digital Arts and New Media program at Kootenay Studio Arts at Selkirk College,” explains Val Field, executive director of the gallery.
Next door at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre (112 Heritage Way), Lisa Poznikoff, museum director, says visitors will be allowed free entry to the museum during the tour. It’s a good opportunity for those who have never been to check out the centre.
“The entire centre itself is set up the way a traditional Doukhobor village used to be set up. Our one building displays the artifacts from life between 1908 to 1938, and so the building is set up the way the Doukhobors would have lived in that time period,” she says.
The centre also has audio visual displays, a kids’ interactive display, a textiles display and a blacksmith’s shop.
One of the centre’s building is also home to the Selkirk Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild, where tour goers will be able to see guild members at work.
On Friday, guild members Sandra Donohue and Deborah Johnson were there, spinning and prepping a loom for weaving.
Donohue has been part of the guild since the mid-’70s and chose weaving over pottery “because I thought it was less messy,” she explained, as Johnson started laughing. “The fiber gets everywhere,” explained Donohue.
Johnson is the guild’s newest member, having joined in January. She’s 39 with two kids. While she’s the newest member, she’s not the youngest, and she and Donohue estimate the members range in age from their 2os to their 70s.
Membership in the guild is $25 a year and members have access to wholesale prices on materials, equipment rentals, the guild’s library and knowledgeable fellow members who can lend assistance. The guild’s gift shop and studio is regularly open Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
But Donohue won’t be at the guild’s studio over the weekend, as she’ll be at her home studio (3343 Broadwater Rd. in Robson) instead. Visitors will be able to see her weaving and spinning work, as well as her paintings.
The other Robson stop is at Mirja Vahala Art Studio (3900 Broadwater Rd.) where visitors will see acrylic landscapes and the Raspberry stop is at Catherine White’s Glass Studio (1091 Wildrose Rd.).
Back in Castlegar, Maria Woodman (2416 9th Ave.) will be displaying her jewellery and meditative landscapes, potter Theresa LeRose (2300 10th Ave.) will display her wheel and slab pottery, Stephanie Harron’s photography will be on display at Common Grounds Coffee House (692 18th St.) and artist Kari Burk (1151 Woodland Dr.) will have her paintings, illustrations, written works and garden art available for viewing.
The Castlegar Sculpturewalk in downtown Castlegar is also part of the tour. Recommended starting spots for the Sculpturewalk are City Hall, the Station Museum, Kootenay Market or across the street from the Castlegar Library where you’ll find maps to the walk in red boxes.
Columbia Basin Culture Tour brochures are available at tourist information centres and participating venues.
For more information, visit cbculturetour.com or call the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance at 250-505-5505.