Puhr, Smith adapt to new venue

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For the past five years Tillsonburg's Jason Puhr and Jared Smith have been showing their art in the annual Oxford Studio Tour.

This year was different. Rather than showing together at Annandale National Historic Site, the local artists displayed their mixed media work at Station Arts Centre with eight other artists – a blended collection varying from oil, acrylics and watercolour to pottery, fibre art, digital photography and recycled materials for the two-day tour.

"It's a different experience," said Smith, browsing though the different gallery rooms early Saturday afternoon.

"It is, and we've both said that before, 'I wonder what that's going to be like?'" Puhr nodded.

For starters, they had to come up with a different strategy for hanging the art.

"Maybe overwhelming at first," Smith admitted. "But I think it's great to have that many artists together."

Both considered their previous five Oxford Studio Tour years showing at Annandale National Historic Site time well spent. They did very well with "lots of people" coming out. That tradition continued May 2-3 at the Station Arts Centre.

"They found us," Puhr laughed. "Some we didn't even tell... and they still found us."

"They did seem to find us," Smith nodded. "They do such a good job advertising it, we knew it wouldn't be a problem."

They also did well in sales.

"My favourite stuff here is probably gone already," said Smith. "I find it disappointing for some people who didn't show up earlier. Some of my newer pieces all sold right at the start of the day. So some people who do follow, or family, came out to see stuff and said, 'got anything new here?'"

"Especially if you told them already, 'oh you should see this... you'll like this...'" said Puhr. "And then they're saying, 'well, where is that...?' 'Oh, sorry – it's 11:30.'"

With that much art being sold, it meant some restocking of walls Saturday morning.

"Yeah, we did go out to the truck and get more," said Smith. "Jason had a couple paintings out there, and I had one. And at the end of the day we'll move things around."

"You can shuffle things, too, so that helps," Puhr nodded. "Spread them out here and there."



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