Metchosin artist Detlef Grundmann works on a piece in his home workshop. He was one of the many local artists who took part in the Stinking Fish Studio Tour. (File - Black Press media)

Metchosin artist Detlef Grundmann works on a piece in his home workshop. He was one of the many local artists who took part in the Stinking Fish Studio Tour. (File - Black Press media)

Curtain closes on Stinking Fish Studio Tour

The Stinking Fish Studio Tour will live on through the lasting legacy the participating artists imparted on the regional arts scene.

Artist Bev Petow first got involved in the event under its original moniker, the East Sooke Metchosin Studio Tour, before it officially became known as the Stinking Fish Studio Tour in 2000.

It was one of the first tours that took people into the artists’ working environment, so it had a real educational component,” said Petow, a metal artist best known for her steel dresses.

Another benefit for the hundreds of people who took the tour each year was that because the studios were spread throughout East Sooke and Metchosin, it exposed many people to the natural beauty of the area, said Petow, who works in sales with Black Press.

The fact that it was a juried tour helped maintain the high calibre of artists who participated as well, Petow said.

The difficult decision to hit the pause button on the tour was made in 2018 following the annual Christmas show.

“We decide to take a couple of years to assess the situation,” Petow said. “A lot of the people who knew how to organize the tour were becoming fewer and older. And despite growth in the community, people weren’t coming out like they did when the tour peaked around 2007 to 2009.”

Petow said she would miss the interaction with the people who took the tour, especially watching their focus increase as they began to understand what was involved in the artists’ process.

“I met some really great people. You saw a lot of the same faces every year,” she said.

Petow believes the tremendous support from the community is what made the tour a success for so many years.

“As an artist, the process of doing the work is its own reward, but I’ll miss the interaction with the other artists as well. Doing the graphics and the brochures was always great fun because of the diversity in the group. While a lot of tours focus on one or two genres, we had fibre art, glass, wood, pottery, jewellery and mixed media.”

It helped to have internationally renowned potters Robin Hopper and Judi Dyelle on board as well. “They were instrumental in helping mentor the other artists on the business side of the tour,” Petow said.

The Stinking Fish Studio Tour artists last got together for a farewell dinner in 2019.

“It was bittersweet,” Petow recalled. “We had members sharing their experiences over a 20-year span.”

The group decided to donate about $4,000 that remained in savings to the West Shore Arts Council, the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts, and the Metchosin Art Pod.

Stephen Green, director of the West Shore Arts Council, expressed gratitude for the $1,243 donation in a March 31 letter and thanked the many talented artists in the Stinking Fish Studio Tour for the high quality of arts and crafts they shared.

“We thank you sincerely for enriching our communities for so many years,” Green said. The diversity of artists and their work made the tours a source of inspiration to artists young and old, he wrote.

“As we reflect on the success and positive impact the Stinking Fish Studio Tour has had on aspiring young artists over the years, we would like to use this gift to fund students scholarships to be awarded at the end of this school year.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Arts and cultureMetchosinSooke

Just Posted

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Pacific sand dollars are a local species which belong to the same group as sea urchins. While alive, they are covered entirely by thousands of densely packed, short and slender spikes. (Photo courtesy of Louise Page)
The peculiar life of a Pacific sand dollar

UVic biology professor Louise Page offers a glace into sand dollars’ world under the water

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read