It’s the first weekend in October, 2016 and as Chemainiacs know, that can only mean one thing – the Polka Dot Trail Studio Tour is on. Of the six committee members who run Rainforest Arts, five of us are on the tour. So that means not only are we focused on running the gallery, but we have also been working hard spiffing up our own home studios and show rooms to welcome the public during the three-day studio tour.
So when, you may ask, do you artists get to create art? Well, let me tell you, it is a challenge these days. Between working store shifts, screening and interviewing new artists, creating our beautiful displays, training our fabulous volunteers, and doing all the background administration work, the short answer is, most of us have not been in the studio much lately.
However, none of us are despairing, because we are constantly being inspired by our artists, our appreciative customers and each other’s company. Artists tend to be a lonely breed, but through the exercise of creating Rainforest Arts, we are enjoying the comradery and team work this project has brought us. It’s been an opportunity to find new perspectives and excitement that will eventually translate into our next art pieces.
It’s all about balance in this life and for me, personally, having this opportunity to deepen my relationships with my team, our artists and our supporting partners (like Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society and Coastal Community Credit Union), I have been able to broaden my skills and talents tremendously. And that, in the long run, will translate to new and innovative work in the studio when I return there in the next week or so.
Polka Dot Trail is an opportunity for all of us to bring you to our studios and to showcase Rainforest Arts, but it also marks a time of transition. For me, it is a transition from Committee Member back to being an artist. For our community, it marks a transition from summer to winter. For Rainforest Arts, it is a transition from starting up to maintaining our beautiful gallery. And it also marks an opportunity for us to meet and celebrate the wonderful people we live and work with in our community.
By the time you read this, the tour will be over, but please keep your brochure, because if you check the colour codes on the map, you will see that some of us are around to welcome you back to our studios either during regular business hours or by appointment. And of course, Rainforest Arts will be open 6 days a week all winter, so you can always find us there. With short darker days ahead, we hope to brighten your life by bringing you the finest selection of art available in the Cowichan and Chemainus Valley, both in our studios and at our new home at Rainforest Arts.
Peggy Grigor, Rainforest Arts Committee