PEC Arts Trail celebrates 15th anniversary with launch of 2022 season

A group of some of the artists involved in the 2022 Arts Trail gathered at 2gallery in Picton on Wednesday to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the program. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

 

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

The Prince Edward County Arts Trail celebrated its 15th anniversary Wednesday at 2gallery in Picton with the launch of its 2022 season. The new bilingual Arts Trail Guide and Map, redesigned English and french websites, the addition of new artist studios, the reopening of the multi-artist gallery and a host of new strategic partners were part of the spring-time launch.

Imagined in 2008 by local business owners, artists and curators and in partnership with Taste the Country (the destination marketing organization at the time), the annual self-guided tour connects art lovers, buyers and collectors with professional creators and curators in unique single-artist studios and contemporary multi-artist galleries throughout The County. The program was transferred to the municipality when Taste closed in 2014. In early 2019, the iconic Prince Edward County Arts Trail program moved into the hands of local professional artists, artisans and gallery owners in a new partnership with the Prince Edward County Arts Council.

“The Arts Trail is an important program that helps support and grow professional artists and arts businesses in Prince Edward County and contributes to the overall cultural fabric of the community,” said Tara Wilkinson, Chair of the PEC Arts Trail and co-owner of ANDARA Gallery. “We are thrilled to welcome Art.Wagon, Bark Woodshed and Studio, Hatch Gallery and GRACE Studio who join our long-standing member studios and galleries in offering visitors beautiful works of art in inspiring settings.”

Offering inspiring artworks in a range of price points and media, visitors can discover incredible works of sculpture, paintings, photography, woodwork, prints, drawing, mixed media, furniture, glass, fabric, ceramics, and more. In addition, Arts Trail locations host openings, lectures, demonstrations, events, workshops, concerts and other artistic offerings throughout the year.

“I fully support the arts,” Mayor Steve Ferguson of Prince Edward County stated “To say the county is made better by its artists is an understatement. It seems that every corner of The County has been made more beautiful, more meaningful and more livelier by the work of the artistic community. That beauty is so necessary and so appreciated, especially right now. I would like to express a sincere thank you to everyone in the arts community who has enabled all of us to get some respite from the effect of COVID-19 during the past two difficult and challenging years. This collaborative program has showcased the creative entrepreneurship that is alive and well in The County, and it is well worth celebrating. Congratulations to the Arts Trail committee and member galleries on your season launch. I wish you all a creative and prosperous year ahead.”

“The PEC Arts Trail has grown to become a year-round, must-do signature experience for tens of thousands of visitors to this beautiful creative island community,” added Janna Smith, Executive Director of the PEC Arts Council. “We’re thrilled to work alongside the Arts Trail’s professional artist and gallery members to support the program and expand opportunities for members and visitors alike.” 

Visitors can plan their visit along the PEC Arts Trail by downloading the new bilingual Arts Trial Guide and Map from the english and french websites at www.artstrail.ca or by picking up a copy of the Guide throughout The County including at all Arts Trail member locations, The County’s information Kiosks, wineries, libraries and other major points of interest.