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Friday August 2nd, 2013

Posted at 1:00pm

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File photo of the inside of The Backroom Gallery

The Back Room Gallery Artists’ Co-op recently opened up a portion of their space to local artists at no charge calling it the Visiting Artists Program.

Each artist is granted the allocated exhibition space for a week and is encouraged to host their own art opening.

Established in 2011, the Back Room Gallery houses 27 local artists in wood, fiber arts, mosaics, jewellery, pottery, hand-bound books, photography and paintings. The Gallery is run as a co-op with volunteers, who wish to give fringe artists a chance to show before an audience, many for the first time.

Volunteer Coordinator Albin Kristy says, “the free Visiting Artist Program at the Back Room Gallery Artists’ Co-op is an extension of an idea that led to the forming of the Gallery in the first place. The idea was that individual artists can accomplish more of some things, especially marketing and sales, if they work together as a group. As a result, we are now a small community of artists with a very nice Gallery where our members can display and sell their work.”

The past couple of years have been a learning experience for the co-op members as they have worked to improve the Gallery space and further strengthen their co-operative model of organization. They are now eager to share what they’ve learned with others.

According to Kristy, “the next stage for our Gallery’s evolution is to increase our public exposure and to bring in more visitors. We believe we can become better known throughout the overall community by expanding our co-operative spirit to all artists, especially up and coming, emerging local artists. By supporting non-member artists, the Gallery is being introduced to people it otherwise would not see. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Our visiting artists can host a reception, and show and sell their work free of charge in a gallery setting, and the Gallery gets increased exposure from the new people they bring in.”

The Visiting Artist Program is currently running through the end of September and can be seen at 4749 Wyandotte Street East in Pillette Village. Hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and on Sunday from 11am to 3pm.

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