What’s new at gallery 2

gallery 2 is back in action after a busy and productive Christmas season.

A patron checks out a new exhibit at gallery 2 in January.

A patron checks out a new exhibit at gallery 2 in January.

It may have seemed dark and quiet at gallery 2 during January, doors locked up tight and voice mail on however, things aren’t always as they seem.  The real deal was that it was actually a beehive of activity backstage.

At the start of the year staff and our wonderful volunteers face the daunting task of putting Christmas away.  If you have ever been overwhelmed taking your own household decorations down, you can imagine what the task of removing decorations from this whole heritage building is. Nevertheless, the job gets done and staffs begin working behind the scenes doing annual maintenance on the interior of the building.

One staff member in particular is of a rare breed and actually enjoys the task of painting.  Picture if you will, the patching necessary to fill all the holes from hanging 10 exhibits from the past year.  Then the janitorial team descends and cleans from top to bottom.  The scent of polished woodwork hangs in the air as the brass railings sparkle.  Floors are waxed and the building gradually returns to its former glory after a highly utilized year.  In the meantime, other staff are purging and reorganizing – files, store rooms, desks, vaults and gift shop.

Because four out of six of our volunteer board members were newly elected last fall they are also behind the scenes, familiarizing themselves with the organization and forming governance initiatives.  Keeping a non-profit operation on track, on budget and fulfilling its mandate is no walk in the park and is a challenge to which the Art Gallery Society has risen for its 32 years of existence.

Another big task on the board’s agenda this year is succession planning. Staff retirements are impending and require skilled people to fill big shoes.  Visitor Centre staff also use this quiet time to research and get in touch with local business owners, striving to keep information updated so they can share that knowledge with tourists during the busy season.  Although it seems hard to think about warm days and green thumbs as the snow is piling up, homeowners are now being contacted for this summer’s showcase of fine Grand Forks’ gardens for the bi-annual garden tour.

Our curator, Ted Fogg, is constantly reviewing submissions for exhibits and already has the next two years planned in advance.  He’s packed up and shipped off artwork from previous shows and is receiving and installing the newest and upcoming.  Inventory has gone on, especially after the Christmas season and artisans who have their work marketed in the gift shop are being contacted for replenishment and payment.  Our marketing department is creating newsletters, advertising, posters etc. for the numerous events upcoming throughout the year.

Next week the gallery will be celebrating BC Heritage Week and My Canada, Feb.14 – 25. This year’s theme  is Celebrate the Places that Tell Your Story. We will be hosting four open houses (Feb. 17, 18, 24 and 25) and collecting your memories as you browse the heritage gallery. The memories will be posted on our memory wall.

On March 10 we are hosting our first fundraiser of the year.  It’s Wineology 101, an educational evening to help one expand their knowledge of wine appreciation. We are bringing in an instructor from the Okanagan and he will be teaching the art of wine tasting. All the better to impress your friends with at the next wine tasting!

So if you’ve rattled our doors in January and found us closed, these are some of the necessary reasons that make us tick.  We’re back in business now and have some exciting plans for 2017.  It all begins with the new exhibits of  Jason Baerg & Debra Rushfeldt.  Please come by sometime soon – we are your community art gallery.