The Starry Night Studio and Gallery Tour has been cancelled for a second year, but organizers are still encouraging people to support local artists at their own pace.
The difficult decision to call off Starry Night was made because the purpose of the event is to draw people into galleries over the course of one evening. With restrictions on gatherings expected to remain in place for a while, organizers opted for ARTcation, an effort to promote local artists, studios and galleries throughout the month of August.
“I can’t see us safely shuffling 2,000 people through these spaces within four hours,” said Linda Tiffin, chair of the Starry Night organizing committee. “We just couldn’t envision it working normally.”
ARTcation encourages people to visit downtown Orillia, check out the Streets Alive sculptures along the main street, take in the See You on the Patio program and the Friday night Art Walks, and visit artists.
“The idea with ARTcation is we’re promoting all these venues,” Tiffin said. “They’re studios and galleries that are open year round. For people who have always enjoyed Starry Night, this is an alternative. They’re free to do it on their own schedule.”
For those who might be intimidated by art or not have a broad knowledge of it, Starry Night was a way for them to “blend in with the crowd,” she said. She hopes they will take part in ARTcation, too, as local artists are welcoming and ready to answer any questions.
“The thing about buying original art from local artists is it’s one of a kind,” Tiffin said.
A bit of colour and creativity wouldn’t hurt during these times, she added.
“We’re almost through the pandemic and there’s just something about enjoying art and creativity. It’s calming and soothing — things we could use at this time,” she said.
Keep an eye on the Starry Night Facebook page for updates. A downloadable map to guide people on a walking tour for ARTcation will also be posted there.