Rembrandt and Shakespeare both had their patrons, and so it is that in this town of somewhat lesser dabblers in art, both visual and literary, Eliza Hemingway continues the tradition.
Last spring, when she began carrying my new book, All These Long Years Later, I assumed that she, like every other vendor with whom I had placed my work, would request at best a 40-per-cent and at worst, a 60-per-cent consignment fee.
For local artists, it’s painful but it is also understandable. Rents here in Chemainus are high, and personal or staff time has to be a consideration.
So it was a huge surprise when, some months later as I began my rounds checking on sales and receiving my share of the proceeds, Eliza handed me a cheque with the addendum, “I don’t take any commission.”
I’m sure that my face belied my surprise as she explained that she believed that local talent needed to be appreciated and encouraged and what better way to do so than to offer an attractive, local venue in which to display and to sell the artistry that was being produced.
Her fascinating shop is located on Willow Street and brimming with collectibles and creativity and features a local toy-maker, who is often on the premises, sometimes whittling and painting and at other times, minding the store.
Eliza’s Antiques and Art is absolutely worth a visit — a chance to discover the very thing that you always knew you needed but could never find, a chance to discover local artisans, and a chance to support the proprietor who is so generously supporting our community.
Robyn Gerland – Special To the chronicle