The History of the Lake Superior 20/20 Studio & Art Tour

The Lake Superior 20/20 Studio Art Tour started with artists Cynthia Lovold, Rose Kadera Vastila and Ron Benson when they met at the French River Craft Bazaar in 2009. As they were chatting at the event, the three of them began to identify artists they knew of in the North Shore area and entertained the idea of some sort of event.

The next year the trio decided to have a more in-depth discussion of a possible event. Rose was the one who said, “Let’s do a studio tour,” and had the whole concept of going off the beaten path to find studios! In November of 2010, Rose, Cynthia, Ron, and Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens met at Cynthia’s home and compiled a list of the various artists within the Clover Valley area of the North Shore. They discussed a name as they wanted something that would really pop up in a search: Lake Superior. The rest fell into place when they realized there were 20 artists in about 20 miles, hence the original name “Lake Superior 20/20 Studio Art Tour”.

They invited the inaugural group for a meeting about 2 months later, and Ron came up with the original black “glasses” logo.

Since its inception, the tour has changed with adding some new artists each year, including guests at each host’s studio, and pop-up artists on the tour. Pop-up artists are often those individuals who may be emerging artists and may not have as much inventory as more established artists.  But after being a pop-up artist, many of these talented individuals become established guest artists – and some have even become hosts as they have fully developed their own studios in the area.

It has always been the philosophy of the tour to invite visitors to take “the road less traveled,” to enjoy and discover the amazing talent that the North Shore and its environment has to offer. Our artists build their studios on their properties in the woods and along the beautiful backdrop of majestic Lake Superior, and we hope that our visitors love our creative spaces as much as we do.

We invite visitors and local folks alike to enjoy the last weekend in September each year with fine art, entertainment, refreshments and the beauty of the fall colors!