The tour features neighborhood stops, including the Eastlake Cat Hospital.
Every October for more than two decades, artists around White Rock Lake have invited strangers into their homes and studios to view their work, learn about their artistic processes and experience their space.
“The real heart of this, and I think it’s so much fun, is to see where artists work,” says Marty Ray, one of the founders of the White Rock Lake Artists’ Studio Tour.
This year the studio tour is the weekend of Oct. 12 and 13, and it features more than 45 artist studios in the White Rock Lake area.
Ray started the tour 21 years ago with potter Michael Obranovich and sculptor David Hickman.
Originally it was just the three of them and a handful of their artist friends. Now, there are more artist studios on the tour each year than visitors could begin to see in one weekend, and there’s a waiting list for artists, who often wait years for an available space to open up on the tour map.
Arguably one of the more unusual destinations on the tour will be in Lake Highlands at the Eastlake Cat Hospital, where artists Kay Wyne and Sharon Hodges have spent several months painting cat condos.
The new hospital for cats located on Shoreview boasts Victorian architecture, custom art and hand-carved (by Wyne’s father, Charlie Wyne, a retired builder), hand-painted structures for feline recovery and retreat.
“It is whimsical yet also very elegant, with chandeliers and Oriental rugs,” Wyne says.
Wyne, Hodges, artist Lynn Rushton — a longtime tour participant who helped them get in, Wyne says — and six other artists work in a studio adjoining the cat hospital, and they have additional art on display at the Dutch Art Gallery. The gallery, located across Ferndale from the cat hospital and studio, also is on the tour.
Wyne and Hodges met veterinarian Karen Fling at a previous art show. “She bought art and told us what she was working on,” Wyne says. “It sounded too interesting to refuse.”