About 29 years ago Karen Cooper, then involved on The Seaway Arts Council with a keen interest in Graphic Arts, was having a discussion with transplanted NYC photographer Linda Gumbs about the richness of Artistic Talent in the community and the question was asked, “Why doesn’t Cornwall and The Counties have an Art Tour”?. Well the answer was simple. No one had made the time to organize one. So with the support of the Seaway Arts Council, Karen and Linda joined forces with Regional Artists Martin Crevier and Janet Keefe to organize the first Artist Sponsored Apple and Arts Studio Tour.
The premise was simple. Artists would open up their studio space to the community and visitors, encouraging them to find out more about the arts through discussion about the work, their processes and through various hands on demonstrations that would take place during the tour.
The tour has always taken place during the last full week-end in September, harvest time for many apple varieties. The timing of the tour also celebrates the various local apple growers and the celebration in particular of the McIntosh Apple which was conceived right here in Eastern Ontario. The tour often includes studios and area businesses that feature special apple offerings in celebration of the tour.
The Tour has had several community organizations and artists who have organized the Tour each year. “It is wonderful to see how the Tour has grown and been transformed over the years” said Cooper.
The Apples & Art Studio Tour was the recipient of the Business Excellence Award for Tourism by the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce in 2016.
The 2018 tour saw 3,900 studio visits and $53,000 worth of art sold during the 2 day event.
The 2019 tour will have 33 locations plus Student Exhibits at Tagwi and the Cornwall Public Library, and features 80 artists.