Stinkers open their studios

Not Another Stinking Christmas! show in East Sooke and Metchosin

Did you know that the Stinking Fish Studio Tour got its name from Metchosin or as the First Nations people said, S-met-sho-sun. It means stinking fish. Now why they called it stinking fish is probably lost to the ages, but stinking fish now means an annual juried studio tour for artists in the region.

Spokesperson Judy Dyelle said when they named the tour, the Stinking Fish Studio Tour people wondered why name it that. Dyelle said it means “Metchosin” and it does attract attention, just as the name for this year’s Christmas tour named, “Not Another Stinking Christmas!” The name is not meant to offend but rather to attract attention to the tour. It sets them apart.

“It’s all about getting noticed, there is so much going on at this time of year,” said Dyelle.

Not Another Stinking Christmas is set for Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The studios are open as is the Metchosin Art Centre at 4495 Happy Valley Road.

The artists who make up the Stinking Fish Studio Tour stretch from East Sooke to Metchosin.

Nineteen of the artists are opening their studios for “Not Another Stinking Christmas!” Four of them; Detlef Grundmann, Chiarina Loggia, Bev Petow and Lesley Forman will join forces to present their work at the Metchosin Art Centre and the remainder will open their studios. Banding together for a couple of days is not unusual for the SFST. Each year a number of artists would gather in a large studio and hold a small Christmas fair and this is just an extension of the idea.

This year the organizers offer up a studio guide which is available all year, meaning the artists are amenable to opening their studios all year. With no set dates for tours, art patrons can contact the individual artists for tours anytime. One of the aims of the Stinking Fish Studio Tour is to encourage people to shop locally, and support local artists and artisans.

The artists whose studios will be open display artwork in a wide variety of mediums. From fibre art to metal work to potter and printmakers, they are all taking part. Names include: Kathy and Selby Saluke, Lorraine Thorarinson Betts, Doug McBeath, Wendy Mitchell, Frank Mitchell, Peter Walsh, Ann Semple, Jennifer Kivari, Alice Mclean, Leslie Speed, Valerie Speed, Kay Lovett, Angela Menzies, Bonnie Coulter and Marlene Bowman. Many of these artists have had their work selected for show and sale at the Sooke Fine Arts Shows. They are among the best on Southern Vancouver Island and they draw their inspiration from the vistas spread out in front of them.