What’s New in the Gift Shop – July 2018

Our ‘new’ item in the Gift Shop is actually an older item that has been re-issued. Thirty years ago, a group of Castlegar and area women got together and called themselves The Hen Party. They collectively wrote and published Cooking without Mom, a survival cookbook for young adults who are on their own for the first time. The collective got together again, updated the book and re-published it with new tips and new recipes. It makes a great grad gift or present for those off to college. The publisher of the cookbook, Sandhill Publishers also recommended that we carry the young children’s book British Columbia Lullaby. It is a collaboration between author PL McCarron, illustrator Joy Steurwald and musician Keith Andrews. It features words and images inspired by various spots around the province.

Rita Wege is a local artist we discovered this past year. Rita has developed an interesting abstract style. We featured her in Christmas at the Gallery  and have carried her work in the Gift Shop since then. Rita just brought us a few new paintings. Come and check them out.

Some of our most popular pottery is from Heath Carra and Victoria Henriksen under the name “Shprixie Land Studios”. The pair have recently restocked their collection of playful and inspirational mugs and tumblers. The items have been selling rapidly so be sure to come in before they are gone again.

The Gift Shop is stocked with work by a number of local artists and craft-makers. By purchasing from us, you are supporting local artisans and you are also helping to keep the Gallery open and offering art exhibitions and programming to the community. It’s a win all around.

What’s new in the Gift Shop – June 2018

This month has seen a number of two-dimensional art arriving at the Gallery. It’s tricky to show larger works in the Gift Shop so artists are bringing in smaller (and more affordable) works.

Leslie Comrie is experimenting with a new-to-her medium, encaustic, which uses bees wax as a base. She has a lovely triptych available (one of the three shown above). Andrea Gardner also paints triptychs that can be purchased together or individually. Her subjects are Kokanee Salmon.

There are two other artists who are new to the Gallery. Rikki Larsen is a young Castlegar photographer who has a couple of items for sale. Her subjects are wildlife and nature.  Also from Castlegar, Laura Rora is working with alcohol inks to create poetic images.

Local favourite Mirja Vahala has brought in a couple of new, smaller paintings – one, a Nelson turret and the other a coniferous landscape.

Please come and check out the Gift Shop. We sell work by a number of local artists and craft-makers. By purchasing from us, you are not only supporting local entrepreneurs, you are also helping to keep the Gallery open and offering art exhibitions and programming to the community.

What’s New in the Gift Shop? May ’18

Want a unique gift for mom? How about Red Wine Truffle chocolates that spell out how you feel about her? We have a these and a number of other flavours from Doodlebug Chocolates.

We also received a new batch of jewelry from Sienna Estes. Sienna is a graduate of the Kootenay Studio Art jewelry program and offers finely hand-crafted silver items, some with gold pieces or precious stones. Come and check out her work and the work of our other silver smiths, including Lily Andersen, Elaine Wigle, Kate Enewold and Jocelyn Vielleux. They are all magnificient.

The Gift Shop also carries beaded jewelry as well that is perfect for everyday wear. Castlegar’s own Joan Snyder recently brought in more stock. The Gallery has one of the largest selections of jewelry in Castlegar.

The Gallery also carries a large selection of pottery and functional ceramics. Andrea Bryant now has a collection of bowls with lovely lacy decals incorporated into her work. Andrea is a multi-talented artist working in clay, creating furniture and more.

There is a sale in our Gift Shop from May 1 to 12. It’s a great time to find a Mother’s Day gift, something for the recent grad or the perfect wedding gift. It’s also a great time to spoil yourself. Come in and take advantage of the sale.

What’s New in the Gift Shop – April 2018

This month, we had a new artist approach us to sell her work in the Gift Shop. Fabiana Chagas amazed us with her story of how she left her work as a lawyer in Brazil to study ceramics at Kootenay Studio Arts in Nelson. This was obviously a big shift in her life but one she made consciously to turn her life toward art and nature. Her body of work reflects the many influences she has had over the years of her training. The result is a line of functional artworks that are intended for daily use in the kitchen and home.

We hear so many positive comments about the shop and appreciate the feedback. We want to make your visit here a pleasure every time you come. See you soon!

Gallery Lounge – Marian Craft

The Kootenay Gallery has been fortunate to have Marian Craft give her time and energy for over 17 years as a volunteer, Board Member and bookkeeper.  Marian and her husband Ed semi-retired here in Castlegar twenty-four years ago, after years of moving throughout BC. At a time in her life when most people fully retire, Marian followed her calling and became ordained as an Anglican Priest in 2017.

How did you get involved with the Gallery?

All throughout my life, I’ve connected through art. I took painting classes, I went to exhibitions and so on. In around 2000, Derek Lepsoe at the church asked me if I’d help at the Gallery. It had just re-opened after it’s closure and they needed help with setting up the Gift Shop. Sandy Korman and I worked hard. We even took a trip to the East Shore to find artisans. Shortly after I volunteered, I became a Board Member and aside from a couple of years as Bookkeeper, I’ve been on the Board ever since.

What do you like best about being on the Board?

I like the camaraderie and I like how it gets things done. I love seeing how it has grown. When I started, we were on a shoe string budget, with a strict business plan. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow. The Gift Shop has always fascinated me and my husband Ed. I love to see the variety of work done – pottery, art,  jewelry. There’s so much talent in the area.

What are you looking forward to?

The move to something bigger and more visible. Continued growth and more involvement in the community. I look forward to coming to the openings, especially to the kids’ one. When I think about the struggle we started with to now, it’s just WOW!

Thank you Marian, for you dedication. Your long-term experience is invaluable.

Gallery Lounge with Judy Wearmouth

This month, we are featuring a long-time Board Member and a woman who is familiar to many in our community. Judy Wearmouth has been a part of the Kootenay Gallery Board since 2003. Born in England, Judy moved to Canada with her husband and three children. Judy worked for the Castlegar 29 years, presiding as Head Librarian for twenty-five of those years.

How did you get involved with the Kootenay Gallery of Art?

Well, I have always been very interested in all the arts. When I was retiring from the Library in 2003, Sandy Korman, who was the Executive Director at the time, made a personal request. I’ve taken a couple of breaks to have hip operations and for a while, I was on the Board as a Member-at-Large but now I’m back on the Board as a full Board Member.

That’s fortunate for us. What do you enjoy about being on the board?

It’s very stimulating and fun. I like the camaraderie of the board. I also enjoy feeling as if we are doing something for the community.

You are on the Fundraising Committee. Why did you volunteer for that one?

I’m not afraid to ask for money and I’ve initiated quite a few events. The Gallery gets the majority of their funds from grants but they are quite specific as to what the money can be used for. They have to be used for specific operating costs or specific projects. The Gift Shop is wonderful but it doesn’t make enough money to fully support our needs. Through our fundraising, we can have more flexibility to arrange art exhibitions beyond those ones that are funded or to do special programming or to do miscellaneous things, like planning the relocation.

What fundraising activities have you been working on recently?

I’m on the committee that is organizing the Monday Night at the Movies. We showed Maudie in September which was well attended. We’re hoping for a good turn out for all of them, including Their Finest.

We had organized the Great Dinner Lottery but unfortunately we had to post-pone that event. I went to a similar event organized by Selkirk College and it was a lot of fun so I’m looking forward to putting that on later.

Are there any events coming up?

We are talking about doing another Lottery similar to the one we ran two years ago. And there is Soup for the Soul coming up in February.

Thank you Judy, for both the interview and for being so effective on our Fundraising Committee. We appreciate the dedication and spirit that you bring to the board.

Gallery Lounge with Linda Miller

This month we interview Board Secretary Linda Miller

Linda Miller has been an integral part of the Kootenay Gallery Board since joining in 2014. Linda took on the task of being the Secretary for which we are grateful.
Linda, her husband Rick and two daughters moved to the area in 1993. She has spent 42 years nursing and continues to work in semi-retirement.

How did you get involved with the Kootenay Gallery?

I’ve come in to the Gallery off and on over the years. I paint, I draw. I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated art in all forms all my life. It’s the most amazing thing to see how people create. I appreciate the creativity and thought processes that go into it. I’m semi-retired now so I thought I could contribute my skills to the Gallery Board.

What do you enjoy about being on the board?

I enjoy working together with a group of people with a common goal. I like seeing the progression of projects we’re working on. I want to see the completion of the relocation project, not having a clue in the beginning how it would come about. Since sitting on the board I’ve gained an appreciation of all the connections and networks within the community. We’re such a diverse group with a variety of backgrounds but we all have the same commitment to our goals.

What strengths do you bring to the board?

I’m a hard worker – I don’t mind work. Give me a task and I’ll do it. I’m also practical minded. I’m the one who asks “Why would you want to do that?”

Those are great skills, Linda. We’ve definitely benefited from them. What excites you about the relocation project?

I think it will raise our profile so people can see all the possibilities the gallery has to offer. It will be a better place for local artisans to be promoted. It will be a central point in the community to showcase the huge talent pool that we have in the area. I see it as a comfortable place to exhibit art – I’m hoping anyone in the community can come, feel welcome and see what’s going on. We’ll also be able to offer more programs – we’ll have the space and a better location.

Thanks, Linda. We appreciate all that you bring to the board.


The Last Day

Today, on July 29th, is the last official day of 150+ Creative Acts. While us at the Kootenay Gallery of Art are pretty excited to move on to the next project, we’re also sad to see this one go. We’ve seen so many unique and colourful things from the local community and it has inspired us to foster creativity in our own lives as well. I, Emma Chapman, the summer student who was hired here to work mainly on 150+ Creative Acts, especially appreciated this project as I feel closer to myself now because of how humbling and accepting this community project has been.

So, from one creative thinker to another (you!), don’t stop creating, and I hope you enjoyed this project as much as we have.

150+ Creative Acts’ First Workshop of the Summer

On June 10th we had our very first workshop for 150 Creative Acts and it was so successful! At the Plein Air Paint Out at the Kootenay Gallery of Art, we had a good handful of local artists come and set up anywhere they liked on the property and paint the beautiful scenery we have here. It was a little rainy that day as well, so we set up a station indoors for those who’d rather paint still-life (or stay out of the rain). It was so interesting to see the different art styles and attitudes brought into each artwork – we had a lot of fun. Pictures from the event are up in our Photo Gallery! We plan on hosting at least one more Paint Out before the end of the project.

Another thing worth noting is the opening of the 150+ Creative Acts show in the Kootenay Gallery of Art on Friday, June 16th! In the large gallery will be an exhibition of professional artists’ work and their idea of what Canada 150 means to them; in the small gallery we will have participation tables where visitors can come in and tell us why you’re grateful to be in Canada, draw some beautiful pictures, and/or write some poetry/stories. We will also have a craft table set up for those avid crafters. All of these will count toward 150 Creative Acts.

Check back for more news!

Sunfest 2017 was a Success!

Thanks to everyone who visited our tent last weekend for Sunfest 2017! We had over a hundred visitors and 68 participants in our crafts! Those 68 people will be counted toward 150 Creative Acts, so we’re almost at 150, and then we can make our first birthday candle!

Check out our Photo Gallery for pictures of the event and some visitors showcasing their creations!