Artists don't work at the mall or a local grocery store. But you can see them in action when the Langley Art Studio Tour brings the work spaces and techniques of more than 40 local artists into the open for two September weekends.
Narrowing down which artists to see used to be a challenge. Now, with the involvement of Troy Opper of Enjoy Tour and Travel, the decisions are already made so visitors can reserve a spot on the bus, sit back, relax, and enjoy the art.
Tour dates are Sept. 22, 23, 29, and 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the bus company offering special runs all four days.
A number of artists are sharing their studio spaces with one or more guest artists to create 21 studio stops and five stops of interest, so even die-hard art lovers will need to spend three - or all four days - to make it to every stop.
"This is why we spread it over two weekends," said artist and organizer Deborah Strong. "It's mainly because of the distances. We had [bus] requests from people in the past- not everyone can drive."
For a self-guided tour, visitors can download a map from the website at www.langleyartstudiotour. ca, or pick one up at a variety of locations around the Langleys. According to Strong, the artist locations are "far flung," so a vehicle is essential.
Artists will demonstrate their work while talking about their approaches and techniques. There will also be some hands-on opportunities at some locations, and chances to find out about classes and workshops.
When asked why the Langley Art Studio Tour was formed, Strong replied, "It was mainly in response to the fact that, in Langley, there isn't a central arts hub. A lot of artists are working in the community in isolation."
The brainchild of Strong and fellow artist Vivian Harder, the Langley Art Studio Tour is now in its fourth year. Other artists, Jeanette Parkes and Donna Leavens, have joined the founders on the committee to share the workload.
Supporting the arts is important to Strong.
"The arts always seem to be playing catch-up; it's always overshadowed," she said. "Yet it's important to quality of life, child development, and [participating in the arts] is good for us."
For those interested, there are two bus tours from which to choose. The Saturday tour features four artist stops and two stops of interest (including lunch), while the Sunday tour offers three artist stops and three stops of interest (including lunch and Neck of the Woods Winery).
"One lady told me at Arts Alive, 'I had no idea there were artists like this in Langley,'" Strong noted. "She thought you had to go to Vancouver for art like this."
More information on the Langley Art Studio Tour can be found at www.langleyartstudiotour.ca and bus tour information, including a full itinerary of stops, is at www.enjoytourandtravel. com.