Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery goes topless

Arts council adapts as pre-Christmas blow puts literal and metaphorical hole in January plans

It will always be remembered as the day when Ladysmith’s art gallery went topless.

The epic storm that blew in prior to Christmas and left many without power for days, blew the top off the home of the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, exposing the machine shop to the elements.

Rain poured into the back studio area of the building. You could literally see the sky the hole was so big.

Arts Council of Ladysmith and District board member Gail Ralphs said she was sitting the in upstairs foyer when she felt a definite drop in air pressure in the building and the window bowed in. The winds were unusually strong that day and the volunteers in the gallery got out of the building immediately fearing the worst.

There was no damage to the gallery, studios, giftshop or offices but they left just to be on the safe side. Water needed to be plumbed out of the main floor studio.

“It really spooked us,” said Ralphs.

In an emergency meeting on Dec. 30, the board put Plan “B” in place as it waited to hear from the Town of Ladysmith.

The January exhibition was cancelled but the opening speaker series will go ahead. Guest speakers, Grant Leier, Nixie Barton, and Sheila Norgate will debate Creativity & Commerce, Strange Bedfellows, rescheduled for the Aggie Hall at 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 6. The public is welcome and light refreshments will be served.

Making the best of the situation the artists will be encouraged to upload images of their work the to and the public can enjoy the show from the comfort of their home.

At the time of writing this there is still no word regarding the classrooms and classes but the board should know very early into the new year and will inform those who have signed up to take a course.

“We are hoping the classrooms are OK” said arts council president Kathy Holmes, “But if not we are already looking at spaces available in and around Ladysmith. The Town of Ladysmith has been amazing keeping us informed as we progress. ”

“We are artists, we are creative, this is an exciting challenge and we will come back stronger and better,” board member Titia Jetten added.

For updates on their progress check out the Ladysmith Arts Council facebook page.

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