By Lyndsie Kiebert
Meeting the artist is often one of the best ways to connect more deeply to a piece of art. The next level of connection? Seeing where, exactly, that art was made.
Area artists will open their studios over Labor Day weekend, Thursday, Sept. 3-Monday, Sept. 6, in an effort to provide that connection to local art lovers as part of the annual Artists’ Studio Tour of North Idaho.
Painters, photographers, jewelers, sculptors and more — totaling 14 artists located in all four corners of Bonner County — are participating in this year’s installment of the free tour. An interactive map showing each studio address is available at arttourdrive.org.
No tour would be complete without encouraging art lovers to venture off the beaten path, and it’s hard to beat the scenery on the drive to the far east side of the county.
An excursion into the Clark Fork woods will lead to artist Doug Fluckiger, who creates elaborate, life-like graphite nature drawings in his home studio on Dry Creek Road.
Fluckiger said 2021 marks his third year taking part in the Artists’ Studio Tour.
“In past years I’ve been surprised at the number of people who said they drove out this far just to visit me,” Fluckiger told the Reader. “That’s nice, because I’m quite a ways out from the next-nearest artist, and I like to think they enjoy the drive out along the lake.”
While Fluckiger admits that he is a “high-functioning introvert,” he said he enjoys meeting the visitors who come as part of the tour.
“I think the process of creating art is a little mysterious to most people, so I enjoy showing them works in progress and talking a little about my process,” he said, noting that he has discounted prints for sale during the tour. “My studio is built up in the air above the hillside and it’s quite a cozy, airy space, so I like to show that off as well.”
Fluckiger’s studio is located in the very place that serves as his most abundant inspiration: the forest.
“I’ve been blessed with the ability to draw so realistically that virtually everyone who sees my drawings for the first time thinks they are photographs,” the artist writes on his website. “Over the years I’ve drawn these mountains and trees, the snow and rocks and water and light; and I’ve loved doing so. But there’s always something new to discover and explore.”
Visit arttourdrive.org to learn more about the tour and each artist, as well as to sign up for the Artists’ Studio Tour mailing list. See Fluckiger’s work at dougfluckiger.com.
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