Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Determination: The Art of RJ Ogemah

 RJ Ogemah is a young artist we met at the gallery one summer afternoon in 2019. At the time, he simply dropped in to show us a few of his greeting cards he had created and to see if we would be interested in carrying any of them. We were intrigued with his art and took a few of the cards, but asked him to show us some originals of his artwork whenever he had the chance. A few months later he arrived with the most amazingly stunning painting!  It was in the gallery not even a full week without finding a new home. HURRAH!  

Earlier this year, we asked RJ to work on a body of paintings for a solo show to launch in October.He was excited and said YES! What we didn't know was that he was also about to teach himself how to build a house, along with his partner Leigh.  First, the land would have to be cleared and then intensive building was happening every day. In fact, they are both still working quickly to get settled into their new home before the snow flys. 

 Talk about determination! RJ would work through the daylight hours on the house and then after that work was completed, he headed into the forested location behind there, set up a yurt  which he fashioned into an art studio. He painted most of the works you see in his solo show online HERE using just the light of a headlamp and painted in the wee hours of the day.  He could have easily called us up and declined from doing the show but we are so happy he kept on going Hundreds and hundreds of people were able to see his paintings during NOCTURNE last month.


You can still see some of  paintings at the gallery, but we expect this exciting emerging talent will be selling a lot in a few years and making a name for himself, so we're here to remind you to pay attention and invest in artists like RJ. Young artists are so important to our cultural community. 

One of the great joys of working at a gallery is watching artists take the first step- putting themselves out there...and sharing their art with others and receiving some positive feedback. Their confidence grows as the work develops and changes over the years. The artworks find homes and new connections and friendships are made!It's such a lovely thing to experience time and time again. 

R.J. Ogemah is an emerging artist originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He strives to cultivate and share an appreciation of nature through his oil paintings.Interested in art from an early age, R.J. was encouraged by his family, friends and teachers to pursue a career as an artist. This path has led him to study at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto Ontario and the Florence Academy of Art in Florence Italy (Funded by the Ontario Arts Council Career Access and Development Grant).

Monday, November 1, 2021

The How-To Guide for submitting to PRE-SHRUNK 2022

It's that time of year again! The highly anticipated CALL FOR SUBMISSION for Pre-Shrunk 2022! We're excited to begin preparing for our 18th year and we want you to be a part of it!

Our annual Pre-Shrunk Exhibition is the biggest “small” show of the year! Our much loved annual group show asks artists to create small works on 4” x 5” surfaces. We encourage submissions from both established and emerging artists in their preferred mediums and all ages of artists, so take a look at the guidelines below the image and start making some art!


Works MUST be on a 4" x 5” surface (no exceptions). Artworks that do not measure 4" x 5” will not be considered! 

So, what about the 3rd Dimension? Good question!  For regular 2d works on flat surfaces (painting, drawings, etc...), we prefer receiving thicker canvases and boards on "gallery stretcher bars" (approx. 1.75" thick)...they're just easier to hang.  

If you are working on paper, it must be archival and mounted on a sturdy 4" x 5” surface that can be hung on the wall. Works done with materials such as charcoal and pastels must be fixed (ie sprayed) to protect the work. (you can ask us about this).

FOR SCULPTURAL WORKS...If you are sculpting, the base of your sculpture must be 4" x 5”, but there is no height restriction!


We ask that you do NOT attach hanging devices (ie wire, hooks, d-rings, etc). The gallery will take care of this for continuity.

Artists may submit a maximum of 5 pieces. Send photos of all works individually in good lighting (outdoor shots work well)  and if possible send a group shot of all your works together as well.

Submissions must be new and not previously shown.


Please submit (by email) to preshrunk2022@gmail.com

1) Your name
2) Phone number and email address
3) Titles of pieces and materials used to create the work
4) Images in a jpeg format, titled as indicated below:

Last name, first initial, title of piece, number of submission:



Installation View Pre-Shrunk 2020


If the jury selects your work you will be notified by phone or email the following week.

You are required to deliver the work in person or by mail. 

We will not be notifying anyone of their acceptance in the show prior to the submission deadline and the jury meeting.


Pieces that are selected for this year’s exhibition will be priced at $175 each, with the standard 50% commission. 

Please keep this price in mind when creating your pieces!


DeSerres (1546 Barrington St., Halifax)  - Some surfaces in-stock! More coming soon!

the NSCAD Art Supply Store (1874 Hollis St, Halifax) - Currently in-stock and offering 10% discount for Pre-Shrunk participants! 

NEW - Lisa-Maj Roos of The Twisted Doorbell Studio Gallery in Bridgetown, NS is also offering work surfaces for Pre-Shrunk as well, www.twisteddoorbell.com/

You can also make your own surfaces to paint on or find surfaces at other locations as well!

***Please be advised that supplies are limited,
and may not be a regular inventory item for these locations! ***


Not just for Paintings! Pre-Shrunk is open to 3D and Textiles Artists as well!

Please phone, email or drop in to the gallery if you have any questions regarding the show – 902.425.9456. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Get inspired, Make some Art!