General News

A small but mighty studio tour

August 31, 2021

By Kristena Schutt-Moore

The Bancroft and Area Studio Tour has returned! Organizer Ketha Newman says that this year the tour is “small but mighty” with 11 artists at seven different artist’s studios.

These local artists include:

Lyle Collins is a wood worker. Collins creates one of a kind salt and pepper mills and shakers from tree branches sourced on his own property. He produces unique live edge tables, charcuterie boards, lamps, coat racks, and more. He can be found at For the studio tour he will be located at 616 Bronson Rd. From Bancroft, Hwy 28 E to Bronson Rd, first left after the iron bridge.

Andrew Edgar is a stone carver/painter. Edgar’s sculptures and paintings are inspired by the Canadian wilderness. He carves soapstone, marble and alabaster into objects inspired by nature. His bright acrylic paintings represent Bancroft and Algonquin Park surroundings. He can be contacted at For the studio tour he can be found as a guest at Collins’ studio.

Karen Istead is a glass artist. Istead’s glass creations capture the dazzling light that reflects upon the natural environment of our Northern area in North Hastings. She can be contacted at or on her Facebook page called Karen Istead Glass Artist. For the studio tour she will be in her studio on 68 Golden Shores Rd. From Bancroft, go North on 62 Hwy to South Baptiste Lake Rd. Go approxsix kilometres to Golden Shores Rd and stop at #68.

Freddie Towe is a painter/printmaker. Towe’s innate sense of colour, rhythm, animation and the quirky interplay between humour and darkness are evident in her work. She can be contacted at, and on Instagram at freddie towe. During the studio tour she will be in her studio at 116 Herschel River Rd Hwy 62 north to South Baptiste Lake rd, right on Ray Rd.,right on Herschel River Rd.

Ken Fraser is a self-taught painter/sculptor. Fraser loves creating playful images that capture the wonder of the world around us. Painting on old wood and creating sculptures from clay and found materials. He can be contacted at or on Instagram at @k.fray. Fraser will be a guest at Freddie’s studio.

Barbara Allport is a painter inspired by both interior and exterior landscapes. She recreates the deep feelings of these special places and spaces in her acrylic paintings. She can be contacted at She will also a guest at Freddie’s studio.

Ketha Newman is a watercolour, mixed media painter/printmaker. She is inviting those on the tour to come enjoy the spectacular view from an off-grid hilltop studio. Newman’s mixed media paintings, watercolours and Lino block prints are inspired by life in the backwoods and infused with magical realism. She can be contacted at or kethanew Newman and on Facebook at Ketha Newman Artist. She is located at 488 East Rd., 20 minutes from Bancroft or Maynooth. Take Musclow-Greenview Rd. from Hwy 62 (at Bird’s Creek or Maple Leaf) to East Rd.

Teena Surma is a doll artist. She uses paper-clay and fabric to create one-of-a kind dolls.  Her artwork includes dolls, animals, and other creations from her imagination. Each piece has its own unique personality and emotion. She can be reached at, or Surma will be a guest at Ketha’s studio.

Nancy McKinnon is an oil and acrylic painter. She is a vibrant landscape painter who is experimenting with wildlife imagery. Her media is oils and acrylics. Come check out her new stunning studio 15 feet from the shore of Baptiste Lake. She can be reached at or Her studio can be found at 80A Ponacka Rd.  From Bancroft take Hwy 62N, left on South Baptiste Lake Rd approx 16 kilometre, right on Clark Rd approx 1.7 kilometre, right on Storey Rd approx 1.4 kilometre, right on Ponacka Rd.

Rene and Elaine Butikofer are wood artists. The Butikofer’s unique wooden bowls are turned on an antique metal lathe, mostly from burls, grown in the Bancroft area. Tour participants will be able to see them in action during the tour. They can be reached at During the tour they will be at their studio at 151 Reid Rd. From Bancroft, follow Hwy 28S approximately four kilometres to Reid Rd, Turn left, drive seven kilometres to 151. From Peterborough, follow Hwy 28N to Reid Rd, one kilometre past Kawartha Dairy. Turn right to 151.

Amy Doole is a creater of functional stoneware pottery. The work is nostalgic and whimsical with bright and earthy colours, sculptural elements, unique textures and vintage image transfers. She can be reached at or

During the tour she will be at her new studio location at 23 Fitzgerald Court, Maynooth. In Maynooth, turn on Church Street, right on Young Street and immediate left on Fitzgerald Court. It is the last house on the left.

This year there will be no brochures with a map available for those wishing to travel the tour. However, there will be printed rack cards and posters that will be available at area businesses and social hubs at the beginning of August. The tour itself will be held on Sept. 18 and 19 and Sept. 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Those looking for more information can visit the tour’s website, visit the tour’s Facebook page called Bancroft and Area Autumn Studio Tour or Instagram page called bancroft_studio_tour. A downloadable map with directions will be available in August on the online resources.

The organizational committee decided at their January Zoom meeting to wait and see what would be happening with the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines and the resulting regulations before making a final decision on whether to have the tour or not. When the government announced that things would slowly start to open up in mid-June, the committee chose to host the tour this September.

“We will be following all COVID-19 safety protocols that are recommended in September at our studios to protect artists and guests alike – masking, hand sanitizing, physical distancing and limiting numbers of visitors into the viewing spaces at any given time are all on the table,” explains Newman.

While tour participants are not asked to make appointments they can do so by contacting the artists they would like to visit. Each studio will be keeping track of the number of people and in their studios at one time to ensure they do not exceed what is needed to allow for safe physical distancing following public health guidelines that are in place in September.



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