• By: Keith Whittier

Westboro Artists “Paint-Out” in Winston Square

Artist Barbara Zuchowicz paints in Winston Square. 

If you go for a stroll by Winston Square this summer you might get to witness the artistic process firsthand.

Artists from the West End Studio Tour will gather in the square to paint, sketch and display their work for the public once a week from June until August.

Fibre artist Wendy Feldberg (on left) and Faith Pickles hold up one of Feldberg’s pieces.

Artist Barbara Zuchowicz says the paint-outs and tours help artists make connections within the Westboro community.

Winston Square itself is a work of art in progress. The newly established community hub will be a center for performances and activities throughout the summer—everything from singing to beading demonstrations to dog training, says event co-ordinator Faith Pickles.

The grand opening of Winston Square will be on June 6.

Since 1995, Westboro artists have opened their studio doors to members of the public for a few weekends in autumn. This year will be the 20th anniversary of the art event. The tours will be held from 10-5 p.m. on Sept. 19-20 and 26-27.

Studio tours are an opportunity for members of the public to learn about unconventional art, says fibre artist Wendy Feldberg. Feldberg crafts elegantly coloured scarves and cloths using natural dyes. Her husband Shlomo Feldberg creates art out of garbage and scrap metal. She says studio tours are “a revelation,” for people curious about her artistic process.

Artist Shlomo Feldberg displayed a Canadian flag he made out of scrap metal and official province pins at the May 26 paint-out.

Zuchowicz says the summer paint-outs are just one way participants are celebrating the upcoming anniversary.

A show called “20 by 20 for 20” will open Sept. 17 at Exposure Gallery, she says. The show will feature artwork by tour participants that are 20 by 20 in size to celebrate 20 years of studio tours.

Landscape painter David W. Jones has participated in the tour for each of those 20 years. He says public art events foster discussion and help dispel the notion that “artists are a different kind, art galleries are for the elite.”

“You’re introducing art to people … who may not go into a commercial art gallery because they’re intimidated,” he adds. “It makes them comfortable.”

David W. Jones painting in Winston square.

Jones, along with the Feldbergs and Zuchowicz, participated in the paint-out preview at Winston Square on May 26. Regularly scheduled weekly paint-outs will begin early July.

The paint-outs are part of a larger BIA initiative to bring excitement to the square, Pickles says.

“There are so many great artists and just to give them a platform to really show their work I think is so important” she says.