The Art Society of Strathcona County is hoping residents will shop local and support local artists this holiday season and is encouraging shoppers to visit the Loft Gallery and Gift Shop.
Arelene Bowles, chair of the Loft Gallery Committee, said the shop, located in the Ottewell Centre on Broadmoor Boulevard, is a great place to find unique gifts.
“There is a Christmas market going on Nov. 16 and 17 but we also have a gift gallery set up at the A.J. Ottewell Centre,” explained Bowles. “We have lots of gift ideas and things that our members have made that make great Christmas gifts or gifts for any time of the year.”
The Loft Gallery is open on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. The Ottewell Centre Red Barn is also home to the society’s permanent art gallery and Bowles said residents seem to enjoy strolling through to check out what local artists are creating.
“People like to come into the art gallery and this gift gallery is part of the art gallery now and honestly we probably do more sales numbers from the gift gallery than the art gallery,” Bowles joked. “Not everybody has $300 for a painting but there are lots of other things they might like in the gift gallery, which is a nice showcase of the artistic talents of some of our members because it is all unique, handcrafted pieces and everything from jewellery to greeting cards.”
Visitors to the gallery and gift shops often have a chance to speak directly to the artist who created the work as well. She adds it is great if you have any questions about the items in the shop or art pieces displayed.
“People come in and are excited to see the art in the gallery but then they end up looking in the gift gallery and making a purchase there,” she said. “We are a group of local artists and we certainly invite everyone to shop local and support the artists living in your area.”
There are works from about 14 artists set up right now and they get rotated with other artists every six months
“After their stuff has been in for a while, they clear it out and allow another member to showcase their items,” she adds.
The Art Society of Strathcona County, which has 188 members, has a heavy focus on promoting local artists and their work.
“One of the things I particularly like about our society is that it is based on volunteerism and in order to show your work in the art gallery or the gift gallery, you have to volunteer for 20 hours with the organization,” she said.
The current exhibit in the gallery will be on display until Dec. 22.