Chemainus Polka Dot Trail attracts visitors to artists

Great displays in many locations during fourth annual visit of participating studios

A steady stream of visitors went through the 10 studios on the Polka Dot Trail tour during the weekend.

The weather hampered the opening Friday somewhat, but all those on the trail were happy with the turnout and the way things picked up Saturday and into Sunday.

“I think the weather had a bit of an issue,” said Will Walker, whose paintings were on display at his Victoria Road home in Chemainus.

“Compared to last year, it was down. The kind of people that came through were interested and very positive.

“I thought it was a good weekend actually, judging by what they were saying – not only what I heard here and the other studios, it was very positive.”

Lorraine Taylor descibed the crowd as “moderate” at her studio on Pine Street where she demonstrated silk painting, but photographer Carol Sowerby, who shared the space with her, said “it was a lot (Saturday). Friday, there were a couple of ladies from Qualicum.”

“Most of the people Saturday were from Chemainus,” noted Taylor.

“Not from far and wide by any means,” Sowerby indicated. “It was exactly the same last year.”

Sowerby’s images were a huge hit, though, and Taylor’s collective scarf painting piece attracted plenty of attention as a hands-on activity.

“Every single one of them says they can’t do it and then they try it and enjoy themselves,” noted Sowerby.

Connie Manning’s Connemara Studio on Cedar Street combined her artistic talents with guest artist Karen Bottcher’s fused glass and jewelry.

“In the morning, it’s always a little slower and then it picks up,” noted Manning.

Four of the studios on the tour were not more than a couple of blocks away from each other and there could have been more.

“We have a lot of artists right in our immediate few blocks,” Manning pointed out.

A lot of newcomers to Chemainus-Saltair were stopping by as well as those locals who’ve been around for a while, she added, plus a sizeable out-of-town continget.

“We’ve had people from Duncan, even from the Mainland who were over here and picked up a brochure,” Manning noted.

“They’ll go to the specific ones that might interest them. Not all the people will get all the traffic.”

Peggy Grigor at Pottery By Peggy in Saltair also said Saturday was very busy compared to Friday and Sunday also brought out many people to her studio.

“(Saturday) was quite lovely, we had a steady stream all day long,” she said.

Grigor noted a good cross-section of residents from up-Island locations in Qualicum and Nanaimo to folks nearby from Ladysmith.

The Carlyle Art Studio, Sage House Studio, Rainforest Arts Gallery, the Bristol Gallery, Woodly and Mountain Peak Creations made up the remainder of the tour stops.