Artists’ collective funds home in hub of Courtenay

New works by five artists, live music, wine and sumptuous goodies all gathered together in a recently renovated 2,400-square-foot space.

Forest Path indicate what you can expect to see at the new Art Alchemy Studio Gallery

Forest Path indicate what you can expect to see at the new Art Alchemy Studio Gallery

New works by five artists, live music, wine and sumptuous goodies all gathered together in a recently renovated 2,400-square-foot space — it doesn’t get much better than that.

Art Alchemy Studio Gallery is holding a grand opening Nov. 25 from 5 to 9 p.m.

“Drop in after work or on your way to dinner or the theatre,” says Lucy Schappy, a member of the artists’ collective.

The gallery is located at 362-C 10th Street upstairs in the Bikram Yoga building. Look for the sign on the door in the corner.

The artists, comprised of painters Guillermo Mier, Helen Utsal, Jennifer Weber and Lucy Schappy and glass artist Stacey Wright, rented the space earlier this year.

“The idea is to have a studio gallery where people can come in and see not only art but artists working with the tools of their trade,” says Schappy. “Jennifer and I thought of doing something like this years ago but our children were young and it just wouldn’t have worked.”

Establishing a studio gallery with five artists meant more creative energy and the ability to rent a larger space.

“We feel really fortunate to have a location right in the hub of downtown Courtenay,” says Schappy. “There’s lots of space, perfect north light and lots of ventilation.”

The opening celebration includes music by Brent Hart on piano and Al Jossul on guitar. Hot Chocolates & Cakebread Artisan Bakery will provide gourmet breads and sweets while Natural Pastures Cheeses will offer a sampling of their wares.

There will also be a cash bar serving beer and wine bar (no credit/debit cards), non-alcoholic beverages and water supplied by Water Pure & Simple. And, of course, there will be lots of fantastic art.

“We’re all very excited about the studio,” notes Schappy. “It’s such a dynamic group of artists and we all learn and inspire each other. It’s competitive, too. If we see one person has finished two paintings, that spurs the others on.”

Both Schappy and Weber have found the studio to be a productive space.

“Most artists find their home studios too small,” explains Schappy. “And there are always distractions if you’re working at home. Coming here is like going to a job. You show up, do your work and go home.”

For now, plans are to hold three or four shows a year. In the future there is the possibility of shows and studio space for other artists as well as art classes.

Following the opening the gallery will be open by chance or appointment (call one of the numbers listed at www.artalchemy.ca). There is usually someone working in the studio most weekdays and some evenings and visitors are invited to just drop in.

For more information and links to artists’ websites visit artalchemy.ca.

 

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