Choose Your Own Art Adventure
on the Isle of the Arts
This includes the 27th Thanksgiving Studio Tour presented by the Gabriola Arts Council where more than 60 artists open their doors to the public. For some, this is your once-a-year chance to go behind the scenes. For others, this weekend is unique for its reputation as one of the largest collective celebrations of the arts in the Pacific Northwest.This year’s Studio Tour kicks off with Opening Night on October 6th. Friday to Sunday (October 7 – 9th), you’re invited to choose-your-own-adventure by visiting Tour Central at Nova Art & Craft Boutique Gallery Space/Studio and mapping your desired destinations around the island. Find a studio listing, maps and more info here.
Missing out on the Studio Tour? No problem! Some of our creatives offer additional or alternative opportunities to engage in and support the arts on Gabriola beyond the Tour throughout the fall and winter. Learn more about a few of our Chamber business member favourites below and check out the online Directory for a more complete listing. We think you’ll appreciate each artist’s unique take on the natural beauty and vibrant community of Gabriola Island.
These featured artists are some of the many creatives contributing to Gabriola’s reputation as the Isle of the Arts.
We encourage you to pick up a Visitor Map at the Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre and check out our Chamber Member artists and all the many makers on Gabriola.
Free Spirit Gallery Studio & Shop
This fall, find a newly expanded Art Supply room at Free Spirit Gallery, Studio & Shop!
In addition to a rotating exhibit and collection of contemporary art and goods from local artists, you’ll find an additional 300 sq ft of art supplies! Free Spirit now stocks supplies from over 20 different companies, including Beam Paints from M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island and Canadian-owned Tri-Art paints. Supplies are sourced with an eco and local emphasis and special orders are welcome. Free Spirit also carries various DIY kits by local artists.
This local business offers supplies and workshops to inspire your own creative process!
Stop by Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm.
Studio Tour #47 | Open Studio Hours | Free Spirit Gallery | Workshops
Marchlight is Studio #47 on this year’s Tour, where you’ll find hand-turned, woodburned, salvaged wood vessels, original coloured pencil drawings, and greeting cards. In this creative duo, Mark cuts, shapes, and turns reclaimed wood bowls and plates and Claire woodburns delicate drawings of birds and other nature beings who call Gabriola home.
Their work can be found at Free Spirit Gallery, The Nanaimo Art Gallery, and at their Marchlight Garden studio, open Wednesday – Friday from 10am – 2pm and by appointment.
Marchlight also offers a 1-on-1 beginner woodturning class! Learn how to turn and finish a small bowl on a lathe in approximately three 1-hour sessions.
Melinda Wilde, Our House Art Studio
Studio Tour #57 | Open Studio Hours | Pier Gallery | Workshops
Find Melinda’s art around Gabriola and at Our House Art Studio, #57 in this year’s Thanksgiving Studio Tour:
“this is my 27th year participating – I may be the only artist who has been in every one!”
At Melinda’s studio and at Pier Gallery, you’ll find an assortment of west coast-inspired art featuring familiar scenes of Gabriola to help commemorate your time here. Take home original watercolours, acrylics, prints, art cards, magnets, calendars, books, and fine paintings on found objects at Our House Art Studio, open by appointment.
Melinda has been teaching watercolour workshops for over 30 years and is offering 8-week beginner/intermediate sessions starting October 5th and 6th on Gabriola and in Nanaimo. Learn more and register:
Howard Houle, Earth Fire & Tears Pottery
Studio Tour #52 | Open Studio Hours
Howard Houle is the creator behind Earth Fire & Tears Pottery, #52 in this year’s Studio Tour. His work comes in a variety of shapes and colours and is known for its functional, oven-proof and dishwasher safe ceramics in a variety of colours and shapes.
Howard is a long-time community member and supporter. His studio is also open year round from 8:30am – 4:30pm.
Gayla Meredith, Dances with Scarves
Open Studio Hours | Pier Gallery
Gayla Meredith is the creator of Dances with Scarves®, a line of funky, handmade scarves, Blessing Dolls, art cards and more available at Pier Gallery and at her home studio. Each of her creations, rich in fibre art, colour, texture, and mixed media, is infused with blessings and intentions for love, safety, abundance and health.
Gayla’s artistic talents also extend beyond her studio, embodied in her heart labyrinth and sacred garden space. Look for a yellow flag at 683 Berry Point Road over the Thanksgiving long-weekend inviting you to explore within and without. Ask Gayla about her Connect-Balance-Thrive Wellness services, including sound bathing experiences and wellness empowerment workshops.
Open Studio Hours
Grazyna Wolski specializes in floral paintings that exude the meditative and uplifting energies of nature through vibrant colours and light. In addition to peonies, dahlias, and other flowers, Grazyna’s subjects include birds, farm animals, and wild creatures. She sells originals, invites commissions, and offers custom order giclee prints from her website.
“I feel a deep emotional connection with flowers; they are my infinite source of inspiration standing as a metaphor for how I feel about life and people.”
Grazyna’s studio/gallery is open every Saturday in October from 10am-4pm and by appointment.
Yvonne Noyon, Veritas Silver Designs
Studio Tour #37 | Open Studio Hours | Pier Gallery
Yvonne Noyon, of Veritas Silver Designs, designs and handcrafts sterling silver jewelry inspired by coastal BC. Her necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings feature creatures and scenes from the surrounding lands, waters, and skies. Yvonne also works on custom orders from her home studio on Gabriola where she has been individually crafting pieces for over 20 yrs.
Veritas Silver Designs is #37 on the Thanksgiving Studio Tour and her work is also available at Pier Gallery, online, and in her studio, open by appointment.
Studio Tour #7 | Open Studio Hours
At #7 on the Studio Tour, you’ll find Rob Robinson’s wire and metal sculptures, unique wood veneer light concepts, lino prints, wind sculptures and giclee prints of watercolours. Rob is inspired by trees and nature and his work is unique for his use of new and recycled industrial materials. His lino prints depict local ocean views, wooden boats, and ravens.
Now retired from a varied and accomplished career, including recognition with a Governor General’s Medal in design education, Rob focuses on his own projects and vision. View his latest online or at his studio by appointment (250.999.0737). Walk-ins are also welcome and pair nicely with a trip to the nearby Malaspina Galleries!
Pam Tempelmayr, Whalebone Studio
Studio Tour #48 | Open Studio Hours
Pam Tempelmayr is a watercolorist inspired by the Canadian wilderness where she grew up. At Whalebone Studio – #48 on the Thanksgiving Studio Tour – you’ll find her original paintings, prints, and art cards. Her paintings incorporate historical and environmental narratives that tell stories of their beings and landscapes.
“Each morning, emptying my brain of words, I hike Gabriola’s forests and beaches. I then go into my studio and pick up my brushes. I hope the resulting paintings work as a catalyst for the viewer the way nature does for me. The more you look the more you see, reflecting in all languages, our real world and all we stand to lose if we don’t guard her.”
Whalebone Studio is open for the Studio Tour and by appointment. Ooriginals, prints, and art cards can also be ordered online.
Zulis Yalte, The Green Bough Studio & Gallery
Open Studio Hours
As the heat of summer fades, a new warmth at the Green Bough Studio & Gallery is generating a variety of new works in wire and mixed-media sculpture and painting.
Find art by Zulis Yalte and a posthumous selection of Joy Olsen Art at The Green Bough, Thursday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm, and by appointment (250 247-7255).
From October 5th to December 9th, local potter, Jan Grenke, will be a special guest with her beautiful, functional ceramics on display.
The Memorial Art Garden is also coming alive for autumn and winter art seekers. Attend Art by Lights Night, November 18th, 2023, from 3 – 8pm for light Magic, warm cider, and a seat at the fire, surrounded by good company and great Art.
Anita Jackel Leather Design
Studio Tour #27 | Pier Gallery
Anita Jackel has been creating soft leather bags and purses for over 25 years. Visit her at #27 on the Studio Tour to experience the versatility of her designs, including change purses, wallets, messenger bags, backpacks, and totes in a range of styles and colours.
Anita supports the slow fashion movement by designing and crafting timeless, multifunctional, durable pieces. Her products are influenced by her European background in fashion design and are inspired by nature, art, and her travels. Some of her bags incorporate Gabriola beach pebbles as closures, connecting the item and its wearer to earth and sea!
Find Anita Jackel Leather Design at Pier Gallery and follow her on social media for updates, events, custom orders, and more.