Thursday, January 7, 2021

Well wasn't ALL bad, but Hello 2021!

Usually every year we write a year-end blog to highlight the past year in art and look forward to the new year ahead with enthusiasm and new found inspiration. We're a bit late to getting this done,so we'll just say that's soooo 2020,and put a few words down here now today!

Certainly,we don't have to write on and on about how this year panned out for many. It was fairly sucky to put it bluntly, but there were some bright happy artful moments too.

We started the year of 2020 off with our annual exciting show PRE-SHRUNK. We are once again planning for the 2021 edition of this show to open on January 29th, 2021 and although we will be organizing this differently due to the on-going pandemic, we are looking forward to meeting new artists and inviting many of you back to enjoy art in person and online. 

In February, we naively launched into the dreaded winter month with a fun show called the Instagram Dogs of Halifax show. It had barely had a chance to be enjoyed by many, when there started to be rumblings about a worldwide pandemic happening. But surely this wouldn't or couldn't affect us, right? So we carried along and had a howling great time with pups and artwork inspired by them by our local artists. 

We also were fortunate to be able to host the Mystery Art Fundraiser for our good friends of Adsum House in mid-March. We assisted in raising thousands of dollars for those in need, and little did we know we wouldn't be able to gather in large gatherings like this again for over a year or more...

Only days later, we had to close our doors to the public like so many other businesses and then begin to work  harder than ever, to keep our businesses afloat.

Thankfully we are still here, because of the support and love from so many of you. Over the year, we were thankful to notice that the "Shop Local" initiative that had been going on for years was now not only lip service for many, but was seriously put into action. Supporting community and others in need was happening. We hope it continues into the most challenging winter months ahead of us now, for our local business neighbours and friends.

We pivoted and pivoted and pivoted....we have gone in circles this year pivoting, but we did manage to get most of our inventory online, make door-step deliveries, send out packages all across the world, upped our social media posts, set up an online gift certificate portal, organized online workshops, began some community outreach programming with our pandemic postcard series and our "Artmail for Shut-Ins". We even took people into our artist's studios and mindsets with our interview series we started in May called "Artists in Studios Getting Coffee" which you can still watch online over on our Instagram TV page.


Thankfully at the end of June we were able to open our doors again, to a limited amount of people to see art again in person. We put on our masks, purchased vats of santizer and got on with it. The "first" solo show of the season began with new paintings by Sharon Cave! Foxes and bunnies were abound!

Shortly after this opening, we hosted a socially distanced book launch, celebrating the artwork of Briana Corr-Scott with our friends from Nimbus Publishing and WOOZLES Bookstore. It was a lovely happy sunny day.

Another annual show that many people look forward to is the Gordon MacDonald show. This year we hosted this earlier than past years, as Gordon was very productive during the full lockdown time and was excited to share his works with all of us. It was a beautiful show as always. There is always something new from Gordon at the gallery. Here is one of his latest arrivals luminous!

 Gordon even hosted a plein air workshop. It was so nice to be outside being with people again, creating and learning under the blue skies of summer. Ahhhhh....ocean breeze with trees.

We helped organize an artful event in memory of our friend Raymond Taavel in lieu of a Pride event this summer. We also helped facilitate some local art projects around town, like this giant mural by Sarah Cannon which you can see on the waterfront along with many other great projects that were helped to beautify our surroundings this year more than ever- thanks to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.



We are so fortunate to have so many talented artists all around us and that was certainly realized by many living near-by this year as well. Pride of local and more paintings found their way into local homes and offices than past years. We were so thankful. Here is a photo of Isobel Hamilton posing with her new body of work this August- most of which has now found new homes within the province. 

 Some days were filled with silly fun! Like the day we hosted a chicken one day at the gallery named Agatha and her sister Dog.  They both loved the art and we loved them!

In the middle of all of this, we almost forgot that we were celebrating 20 YEARS IN BUSINESS! One of our great friends and supporters sent us this beautiful floral arrangement by Neville MacKay of My Mother's Bloomers- an artist of flowers in his own league! We still have the prayer plant growing from this arrangement, in the gallery. Yay!

We hosted so many other shows and events this year; each we were mindful and creatively organized them to keep everyone safe! Here are a few snaps of various shows held throughout months of September and late fall. 

Amy Ordoveza and Megan LeForte showcase recent works in September!

Outdoor workshops continue- this one held at Point Pleasant Park with the great Jack Ross

Here's an installation shot of works by Danny Abriel and his solo show filled with colour!  

Late Summer Studio Visits are always fun! This is Anna Whalen prepping for her upcoming show that was held in October for NOCTURNE.  

Special Commissions were created this year by Kim Eddy and more workshops with her too!

NOCTURNE was different this year, but we made the most of it with an interactive show!

..which also had a theatrical component to it!

Here's Anne Marie MacEachen show for Nocturne which was "illuminating". :-)

We held  a ROCK SHOW with artist Kerry Hodgson,literally and figuratively

We took art to the gardens of Catherine Bagnell Styles!

 Finally the holidays we upon us, and we decked out our windows in lots of light, a fun pop culture Christmas movie inspired window display and inspirational messages in lights- all in an effort to engage and lift spirits as we once again learned things would continue to be challenging as we moved into the holiday season, and more lockdowns came into effect again.


So here's to 2021!  May it be WONDERful! Please remember to visit us and other local businesses this year however you can. Share a social media post, buy a small or large purchase- they are all helpful, tell a friend about a great experience you have had, share how art has changed your life with us! All things great and small are appreciated. Stay Safe everyone! Onwards and Upwards!