Lately the arts council has received mail with all sorts of strange titles: ” Quail’s Nest Gallery” … “Attention: Oliver Community Gallery” … “Dear Gallery Curator”. All incorrectly identified and addressed. Confusing, yes. But also exciting! Why?
Oliver has seen a number of changes in the gallery scene this past year. One, Handworks Gallery, closed its doors this spring. Amazingly, two others opened shortly thereafter. So who owns and operates all the local galleries?
First, let’s clear up any confusion: The Oliver Community Arts Council does not currently have any permanent gallery space, although we do operate the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre and hold occasional exhibits there. It’s more often used as studio space for workshops, classes, demonstrations, and theatrical set building. It’s great for all the dirty work of making art.
Although the council does not own a gallery, we are fortunate to have as members under our umbrella several arts groups and businesses that DO operate their own local galleries.
The Quail’s Roost Gallery is the permanent exhibit space for one of our 15 member groups, the Oliver Sagebrushers Art Club. It is a Sagebrushers’ initiative supported by Rustico Cellars Winery, located at Highway 97 and Road 16. The gallery has been an opportunity for a number of Sagebrushers to gain valuable experience exhibiting and selling their art.
Another of the arts council’s members is the Oliver Art Gallery on Main Street. This is a business venture of about 12 local artists, running it as a co-op. Every month features a different artist but all artists are displayed. Artwork changes every 4 – 8 weeks. They exhibit and sell acrylics, oils, watercolours and pen and ink, and photography. Greeting cards made from their prints are also available.
Two arts council business members run their own professional galleries: Paw Prints Studio and Gallery (The Art John Salsnek – pictured at left) in Willowbrook and Twin Lakes Encaustic Art Studio (Thea Haubrich) in OK Falls. These two have won numerous awards and public recognition for their artwork.
Salsnek is known for his flora and fauna artwork: puppies and quail, birds and buds are all hot sellers. Paw Prints runs special promotions and events throughout the year in addition to their daily hours. Originals, prints, giclees, and greeting cards are available. An added bonus are their horses and dogs. Love animals? The Salsneks support the BPSCPA and will introduce you to their four-legged family.
Thea Haubrich’s art (left) has a glowing luminosity. Imagine stained glass… only wax. Thea holds encaustic art classes throughout the year, and is a local supplier for encaustic tools and waxes. She currently has an exhibit “Untangled” at Leir House (see below for article).
All four of these galleries would make a wonderful circle tour. Try it! Check our links on the right side of the screen for more information or enter the name of the gallery in our search box at the top of the page.
Operating a gallery can be a challenge. There’s the long hours, balancing artistic ideals with what sells, valuing and pricing artwork, dealing with fellow artists and customers. Oliver is indeed fortunate to have so many artists working hard to make art a viable business.
So …. what local artwork is displayed in YOUR house? Bring a bit of South Okanagan beauty home!