The sixth incarnation of Comox Valley Arts’ Central Island Studio Tour is coming up May 26 & 27 – with over 100 artists spaces open between Parksville and Campbell River.

All participating studios are open from 10am-6pm both days, and no appointments are necessary. Grab some friends and go explore! Carpooling is encouraged.

Studio artists include both established and well-known artists – folks who sell their work around the world and are collected in public and private galleries – as well as emerging and experimenting artists who have either just begun their careers or are perhaps shifting to a new genre.

There is something for every taste – paintings, sculpture, pottery, photography, stained glass, fused glass, blown glass, scratchboard, pyrography, puppets, weaving, woodwork, furniture, figurines, big art, little art, art cards, art prints, original art, upcycled art. There’s art that lights up, art you can read and art that floats. There’s realistic, abstract, modern, contemporary, traditional, whimsical, weird and wonderful art.

There is no fee to visit the studios, and many will have surprise treats to share on Studio Tour weekend, as well as great in-studio pricing for their work. Numerous stops include multiple artists, too.

To go on the tour, all you need to do is pick up a copy of the Central Island Arts Guide or visit CentralIslandTour.com to find all the listings. On the website there are photo galleries, studio details and links to detailed maps. There is also a downloadable map for your phone via the Ondago app (free from your app store).

Here is a tiny taste: 

With over 100 destinations on the tour, it’s not really possible to see everything in just two days – and that’s not the point. There is so much richness available for you, pick an area and dive in! You can fill a few hours with the ten studios in Parksville and Qualicum, then grab a quick bite and head into Bowser & Deep Bay for another four or five. Or, with the 70+ in Comox Valley, you can spend both days and probably not see them all. At the north end, there are eight between Campbell River, Black Creek & Merville. Plus, there are two on Denman, and one on Cortes – so even if you’ve got island getaway plans, you can still get in a few visits!

We recommend, poring over the website and making a list of who you WANT to see, then mapping them out. You might get yourself a fantastic tour to places you’ve never been before. Many are easy to find, and most have lots of signage to help you. Another approach is to pick an area you are familiar with and watch for the red Studio arrows and blue and green flags.

Take a chance and visit ones that are out of the way. You won’t be disappointed.

The Central Island Arts Guide and Studio tour are produced by Comox Valley Arts, your community arts council. They are proud to facilitate face-to-face interactions between audience and artist, and to demonstrate the vastness of the Arts & Culture producers we have in our region. This year’s guide is a slice of what we have at our doorstep. Seek out your favourites… and discover new ones!

Comox Valley Arts thanks the Province of British Columbia, the BC Arts Council, and the City of Courtenay for supporting this important project. The artists and makers thank you for making time to visit.

If you can’t see everyone you want to see, most of the artists are also happy to accept visitors throughout the year by appointment, and some have regular year-round hours you can just drop by. You can contact them directly via their listing on the website (each one has a form), or by phone – also listed on the website and in the Arts Guide. Don’t be shy!