New gallery is opening up within the St. Joseph’s Art Studios. (Photo by Don Bodger)

New gallery space opens at St. Joseph’s Art Studios in Chemainus

Work of Us 16 group of Vancouver Island painters featured in first exhibit

A new gallery space has been created within the St. Joseph’s Art Studios.

The gallery will be located in the former St. Joseph’s School library space on Elm Street in Chemainus.

“It’s a brand new gallery for the Island,” enthused Barry Strasbourg Thompson.

He’ll be one of the artists featuring their work during the opening exhibit by the Us 16 group, running Oct. 19-27.

Strasbourg Thompson explained the group is comprised of “16 Vancouver Island painters who’ve been together for a number of years. They exhibit together on a regular basis.”

The group includes Strasbourg Thompson and Dennis Brown, who are both from Ladysmith and lease space in the art studio, along with Chemainus artist Cim MacDonald.

The other members of the group from all parts of the Island are: Joanie Winnitoy, Julie King, Josee Duffhues, Claudia Lohmann, Ruth Barker, Ellen Stebbe, Penny Grant, Deborah Nicol, Penny Maday, Mark Alan Davis, Jim Montgomery, Fran Willgress and Paulette Roscoe.

The gallery will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. plus 7-9 p.m. on the first day and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. all the remaining days until the 27th.

“It’s going to be a collaboration of the tenants here,” Strasbourg Thompson added. “We still have nine full-time painters working here.”

The gallery will fill an important void for many artists for space, as “a number of places are booked two years ahead,” he indicated.

The Catholic Independent Schools of the Diocese of Victoria that owns the building wanted to expand its horizons.

“We suggested it to them originally,” Strasbourg Thompson pointed out. “They’re still looking at ways to recover the costs of operating the building. This is another way.

“Any group or individual interested in renting the gallery space can contact anyone (at the studios).”

There’s currently one other booking pending for the gallery.

Strasbourg Thompson said invitations have already been sent by email for the first exhibit and is receiving a good response.

“The work will be mostly abstract work,” he noted.

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The former St. Joseph’s School, now the St. Joseph’s Art Studios. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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