“Passion Made,” said artist Maureen Joyce. “It’s not what you think.”
Joyce was talking about the new logo and rebranding of the BWG Studio Art Tour. Passion Made refers to the artistic passion for creativity.
The Studio Art Tour celebrated its 10th anniversary last year – but it was definitely time to hit the reset button, said organizers. It was time for a reboot.
“It needed a refresh, a new look, a new re-branding,” said Joyce.
With a County of Simcoe grant, the organizers retained consultants Hardie and Company, the award-winning Innisfil company that helped rebrand the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library. A group of Bradford West Gwillimbury artists met with consultant James Hardie in a brainstorming session.
“We all put in words,” said fellow artist Christine Orr. These were words that described not only the tour, but also the artistic process itself, and what each artist or artisan felt towards their work.
“He was so good at what he did. Elimination and pick, elimination and pick,” Orr said.
What was left at the end of the exercise was one word: passion.
Passion Made reflects the driving force that inspires all artists and artisans; the colour of the logo expresses that passion – and the splash of colour, extending beyond the frame, is an expression of outside-the-box creative thinking.
“It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s exciting,” said Joyce. “We’re excited about it” – and the new direction for the studio tour, which will allow artists and artisans to share their work and passion with the public.
At the moment, 17 artists have signed up for the artist-run two-day B.W.G. Passion Made Artisan Tour, taking place Sept. 21 and 22 – but organizers have decided to extend the registration by one more week, in hopes of attracting additional artisans who may not have been aware of the rebranding.
Fine artists, but also wood-turners, potters, photographers, makers of unique and original jewelry, sculptors and glass artists have until July 17 to register – either to include their own home studio on the tour, or participate in a group show at venue in Bradford.
Works must be original, handmade – “nothing out of a kit!” – and an expression of that underlying creative passion. There is also an opportunity for youth artists to display and sell their work, and for guest artists from outside the community to participate. For more information, see bwgstudiotour.ca.
“It is still the BWG Studio Tour, but with the new name, the new spirit, the new passion,” said Orr. “We got the spark going. It’s up to our artists to fuel it.”
One of the challenges facing the studio tour is financial. The county grant was strictly earmarked for the rebranding process, and although there have been some private donations, this year - after 10 years of financial support - the tour received no funding from the town.
"We're grateful for what we have received," said Orr, but there's no denying there is a shortfall.
Limited funding has led to a rethinking of the annual Meet the Artists reception. Instead, there will be a grand opening at the BWG Public Library, shortly before the studio tour opens on the Saturday.
And instead of glossy brochures, information on the artists and venues will be available online, and on information handouts.
"This year is a transition year,” said Orr. “We do this for joy and passion!”