Forests turning gold, orange and red mean fall has arrived in Haliburton County. The Studio Tour Haliburton Highlands is another marker of the changing seasons. Forty-four artists will be exhibiting in 26 studios from Minden to Tory Hill during the first two weekends of October.

According to co-directors Peter Emmink and Joyce Pruysers-Emmink, visitors flock to the tour to learn about the artists, as well as their art.

“I think a big part of it is the education piece. They want to know how things are done,” said Joyce. “They like to see what’s new and exciting; they’re also excited to see new artists on the tour.”

The tour is celebrating 35 years and despite two years of COVID restrictions is, “the biggest it’s ever been,” Peter said.

“We’re adding more interest to the tour by adding more diversity,” he added. There are a range of new artists working in fibre arts, epoxy, metal and more.”

Many, such as Peter and Joyce, who run Ivy Cottage Fusion Arts, develop new work for studio tours each year.

The co-directors have begun crafting lanterns completely from scratch and developing three-dimensional sculptures that incorporate fused glass.

To land a spot on the tour, artists’ work is juried by a committee.

“We feel it’s a very high-quality tour,” Joyce said. “I think that’s what’s given us our longevity.”

It’s a lot of art to see in two weekends. Peter recommended visitors check out the studio tour brochure online, or available locally, to see which artists they are interested in, or visit the tour in quadrants, one-quarter of the County each day.

“That’s one way of doing it if you want to see everything,” he said.

As an artist, Joyce said a good conversation or spark of creativity can be just as satisfying as a sale.

“Whether they purchase or not doesn’t matter, it’s just to see that reaction and that interest in the process,” she said. “The studio tour in general always has an educational component to it. And that just excites a lot of people to get into their own crafts and hobbies.”

The Studio Tour Haliburton Highlands runs Oct. 1-2 and 8-9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.