Tumbler Ridge Gallery ready to showcase local art

Inside the TR Gallery, the fresh coat of paint on the walls, scattered ladders and paint cans already give a certain familiarity of an art galleria. And while that won?t be the only purpose for this store, it lends itself to be an intriguing and fresh idea for our town.

The visual artists and crafters of Tumbler Ridge are experiencing great expectations of the latest leap of faith taken by storeowner Maureen Sywolos. During March through December of 2004, the same store was under the name of Maureen?s Scrapbooking. But recently she realized the potential to showcase arts and crafts made by local artisans, which benefits these gifted artists, the store itself and offers some inspired commodities to the general public.

Sywolos is an experienced crafter. Her hobbies started out some years ago, honing her skills with dollhouse crafting and furnishings. A few years ago she began needlework, scrapbooking and greeting cards. She and her family have lived in the Peace over the past 20 years and settled in Tumbler Ridge in September of 2000. She seems more than pleased to present an opportunity for both the buyer and seller to merge. Artwork and crafts will be sold on a consignment basis.

?This gives the artists an opportunity to not only sell their work, but to be close and available to speak with people about their work?, comments Sywolos? colleague in marketing, Mila Lansdowne. Lansdowne is an artist herself, having published a book of scenic photography, ?Living in the Peace?, displaying this beautiful region.

The grand opening of TR Gallery will take place on February 11th, with the doors opening at 3:00 pm and the store staying open until 9:00 pm in keeping with Winterfest Madness taking place in the downtown core. Several artists have provided the store with their work and both Sywolos and Lansdowne believe firmly that the excitement and support that both parties give and take will make this a successful venture.

Lansdowne affirms, ?We intend to sell authentic Tumbler Ridge arts and crafts and an occasional entry still within the Peace.? Envision tourists arriving to TR, visiting the gallery and coming away with authentic artistry from the talented people in this town. Both ladies agree that this is a win-win support system and as long as artisans wish to provide her with their work, she would like to showcase it for them. As well, there will be a line of smaller items such as locally made postcards and souvenirs.

Currently, the Tumbler Ridge Gallery has about 20 artists hoping to have a spot on the walls.

Authors Joyce Stenvall, Charles Helm and Mila Lansdowne will be on hand to sign books on the February 12th weekend.