Nicola Valley Arts Gallery settles into new location

·3 min read

After nearly twenty years in the historic Courthouse, the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council (NVCAC) has moved into their new location in the Jackson building, a well-known downtown fixture at 2051 Voght St. next to Kekuli Café.

Arts Gallery Director, Jano Howarth, said the Arts Council is excited about the new space, which will offer new opportunities to present art to the community.

“It’s a larger feeling space,” explained Howarth.

“Our gallery shop is significantly larger; the actual gallery area is a little bit smaller but it’s just a beautiful space. It’s big, it’s open, it’s airy, it’s light, and people have been enjoying it.”

The move to a location more central to the downtown has also been a benefit to the Gallery.

“We’re really central to downtown, and we’re already noticing a difference in how people are visiting and they’re talking about how easy it is to get there,” said Howarth.

From its entrance on Voght St. the new location also boasts handicap access via a ramp and extended hours, formerly the gallery was open Wednesday to Saturday, 12 – 6 and is now open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 – 6 and Sundays 12 – 4.

The first show at the new location, ‘Art for the Love of It’, is currently running until Nov. 14 and features art by Jean Kiegerl, a long-time supporter of the Arts Council and Susan and Glenn Parkinson of Twin Willows Glass Arts.

Kiegerl has experimented with numerous mediums, such as watercolour, sketching, acrylic and collage art, but is perhaps most well known for her oil painting.

The Parkinsons have been creating unique art pieces from glass, including free standing, window mount and kiln fired pieces inspired by natural scenes and landscapes in the Nicola Valley, for the past eight years.

This show, and others which are planned for the future, shine a light on local artists, something Howarth and the board are passionate about.

“This board and certainly my real focus, is the local artists,” said Howarth.

“To see our local artists inspired and expressing themselves in the community. We’ve had some great interactive shows and reaching out to different groups in the community we’re really excited about what’s coming up for the next year. We’re booked for all of next year, all of 2021. I’m booking into 2022 right now.”

‘Art for the Love of It’ is Howarth’s 36th show as Director, a role she assumed in May of 2017.

New beginnings always create a fondness for looking back on good memories, something Howarth said there were plenty of in the NVCAC’s 18 years in the Courthouse location.

“The Courthouse was a wonderful home for all of those years for the NVCAC, and we’re very thankful for it,” said Howarth.

“We’re really happy about where we’ve been, and we wish the new owners the best in their new endeavours.”

An official Grand Opening for the new space will be held on Nov. 20, and will also serve as the launch for the fifth annual Winter Artisan Show. COVID-19 protocols will be in place and attendees are encouraged to use hand sanitizer, wear a mask and sign the guest book.

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald