Shelburne has been without a public space devoted exclusively to visual art, where local artists could exhibit their work, for the last year and a half.
After Lisa Buchanan closed her art gallery due to health reasons at the end of 2017, the only public space left to display artwork was the lobby in the Osprey Arts Centre.
But that’s about to change.
The Art Co-op is a new community art organization that will be opening a member-run gallery in Shelburne on June 1. This gallery, located at 135B Water St., will be the only artist-run co-operative gallery in Shelburne County.
The Art Co-op consists of a core group of 12 artists who work in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, clay, jewelry, fibre arts, metal work, wood and mixed media:
- Val Atwood, fibre artist
- Robert Buckingham, wrought iron creator
- Therese Cruz (secretary), jeweler
- Shirley Crockett, rug hooker
- Lio Lo (co-treasurer), watercolour painter
- Judith Matthews, painter
- Janet Moore, painter, mixed media
- Amanda Pedro (publicist), whimsical sewist
- Alison Stanton (vice-chair), ceramicist
- Melissa Strachan (co-treasurer), ceramicist
- Darryl Swaine, woodcarver/sculptor
- Rachel Yellin (chair), painter, mixed media
Yellin, who moved to Shelburne four years ago, notes that starting an artists’ co-operative and gallery has long been a dream of hers.
“This is something that I really, really wanted to do,” Yellin says.
“There are so many talented artists here, and there are so many people who are interested in the arts, that I thought it would be a positive thing for the artists, to help build a community and give them a space to sell their work, and also for the town. We need more things to bring people to Shelburne and keep them coming here.”
The Art Co-op Gallery will highlight member artist’s work in solo and group shows throughout the year. Eventually, during the winter months, it will also host workshops, art events and collaborative projects with other Nova Scotia art organizations and individuals.
“Our vision is to create a space that provides an opportunity for its member artists to interact with the public while working at the gallery,” Moore explains. “Through bringing this group enterprise to fruition, we are creating opportunities for artistic collaboration and creativity, and providing public outreach.”
The Art Co-op is in the process of planning fundraising events as the group grows and takes on new projects. The Shelburne County Arts Council also provided funding assistance to help with startup costs.
Admission is free at the Art Co-op Gallery. Doors will open at 11 a.m. on June 1. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.