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The Catwalk

GC and I did the Catwalk on Sunday. The Centretown Art Tour. You get to visit 11 artists in their homes/studios.

Artists have such interesting homes. Mostly trippy little apartments with lots of light and well-painted walls with good art on them. I actually started to miss apartment living.

We started with Meaghan Haughian because she’s my favourite and I wanted to make sure that if anything happened, I’d at least get to see Meaghan’s studio. You know. If we got hit by a bus. Or if I suddenly collapsed, paralyzed, on the sidewalk. Or if the downtown core had to be evacuated because of a terrorist threat. At least I’d have seen Meaghan Haughian’s studio.

Her studio was the best one on the whole tour. She wasn’t just displaying her work – she was opening up her process to us. All her in-progress stuff was there. All her tidbits and scraps and creative clutter and bits of inspiration and raw materials and the inside of her brain. It was all right out there, for us to peek at and wonder about.

Ever since I first started following Meaghan, a couple of years ago, I knew that she and I were kindred spirits. Her themes and motifs resonate with me. The phrases she pencils into her work, they mean something to me. Her titles touch me. And now I see she’s started working with drawers and miniature furniture – I LOVE drawers and miniature furniture.

I peeked into her kitchen, which was technically not part of her studio, but it was gorgeous. Bright green walls and a set of shelves filled with brightly coloured pottery.

Even though we’re kindred spirits, this is something I know but Meaghan doesn’t. I go to all her shows, so she recognizes me, but I always get shy and tongue-tied around her. It’s definitely my problem, not hers, because she’s warm and friendly and approachable.

I still haven’t bought any of her work. Someday I will. I should do it now while she’s still affordable.

After Meaghan’s place, we went for breakfast at The Buzz. We’d never been there before, but we’ve been intrigued because you can bring your own bottle of wine and they only charge you a $5 corking fee. Most places that let you bring your own wine charge you $15 for the privilege of drinking it on their premises.

However, this was noon, a little too early for wine. I had the very best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life. GC liked his breakfast too. Huevos Rancheros or something like that. The prices were good, but they charge $2.50 for mediocre coffee.

Back to the tour. We went to all the studios, and most of them were just displaying completed works in their living rooms. We didn’t actually get to see their studios.

Photo: Tom Evans

Photo: Tom Evans

Tom Evans, photographer, was interesting for several reasons. He’s a warm, soft-spoken gentleman, and he has some lovely old antiques in his place. He had his dining room set up as a photography studio and was inviting visitors to participate in a project he’s doing.

Because so many Canadians are from elsewhere, he’s photographing all kinds of people wearing a quintessential Canadian symbol: a red and black lumberjack jacket. He invited us to pose in his lumberjack jackets, so we did. With umbrellas and lights and backdrops and everything. So much fun.

Cynthia O’Brien’s work is three-dimensional, and she’s into what I would call primoridal sperm art. Stuart Kinmond’s paintings were amazing. Nicole Beaumont had a wonderful giraffe which my son, the giraffe collector, would have loved. They were all interesting, and it was an excellent way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.

There are a few other artist tours coming up in the near future.

West End Studio Tour
September 19-20 and 26-27

Wakefield Art Tour
September 26-27, October 3-4

Perth Autumn Studio Tour
October 10, 11, 12

7 comments to The Catwalk

  • XUP

    The Buzz breakfasts ARE pretty damn awesome, aren’t they? And I’m intriqued by Tom Evans’ old antiques.

  • The CATwalk was awesome this year. Artists live in such cool spaces.

    – RG>

  • Jenn Farr

    Thanks for the review! I appreciate hearing that you’d hoped to see more working studios. We’re a collective so I’ll bring it up when we start planning CATwalk 2010. Just for clarification: This year there were 14 artists at 11 different locations. I’m uploading 99 pics to Flickr:

    Good tip re: the Buzz. I’ve been wanting to try the place for the EXACT same reason as you. Now that I know they serve a great brunch I’ll be even more likely to go. I hope they get the coffee fixed though.

    aka accidental altruist

  • Thanks Jenn! I just checked out your photos and they’re great – the next best thing to being there!

  • I had the best Sunday! Beautiful weather, beautiful homes shared and such varied creative talent we have right in our own back yards.

    Thanks to all of the organizers and the exhibitors for a fab day.

  • Thanks for the kind review. Credit where credit is due though, my wife is singularly responsible for the antiques. If you mean the furniture. The antique photographer and assorted old cameras … Yep, that’s me.

  • Hello,

    there are affordable works by ‘mega-adorable’ artist Meaghan Haughian at
    La Petite Mort Gallery, whom Meaghan has been a part of since we opened our doors 4 yrs ago this month.
    Have look at


    Guy Berube, director
    La Petite Mort Gallery
    306 Cumberland, corner Murray
    Ottawa. 613.860.1555