The Creston Valley Arts Council has upped its public profile this year, establishing an office in the Chamber of Commerce building.
The office also doubles as a gift shop, allowing members to display their creations for sale. Those displays add to the variety of artworks displayed in the Visitor’s Centre area.
“The Arts Council has traditionally been run out of someone’s home,” Arts Council president Joanna Wilson said last week. “The Chamber of Commerce has been very supportive and we are pleased to present a more professional look to the public.”
In the office/gift shop, visitors will find jewellery, wearable fabric arts, fused glass, quilted pieces, art cards and other local creations.
“Sales help support our commitment to the greater community to be more visible with this office,” Wilson said. “We get a lot of traffic, especially from the Farmers’ Market, and the comments have been very positive.”
While space is limited, consideration is being given to include local books and CDs, as well.
“We have such a vibrant arts community,” she said. “But people often think of the visual arts, forgetting that musicians and writers are a huge part of our local culture. The office and shop gives us a chance to celebrate artists working in many media.”
The shop serves as a valuable addition to the existing art displays in the Chamber of Commerce building and the continual shows at Creston Public Library, which are changed every six weeks.
A happy addition to the Chamber and Library displays has been the installation of professional gallery hanging systems, which eliminate the traditional nails in the wall practice. The systems were arranged for by Arts Council treasurer Alison Szpak.
“The Arts Council has always been challenged for membership, but it has tripled this year, in large part because of these efforts to be more visible,” director Anne Fetterly said. “Members can be artists or organizations, or just people who have an interest in the arts.”
Directors are currently working to establish closer ties with the East Shore of Kootenay Lake artists.
Dianne Weatherston, another director, said that volunteers—artists and others—are to be credited for keeping the shop and office open to the public three days a week.
“Every day we are meeting new people and learning about their experiences,” she said. “It’s a thrill. And of course the more volunteers we have the more days we can be open.”
The Arts Council Gift Shop is open Friday (10-4), Saturday (9-3) and Sunday (10-4). More information can be found at https://crestonvalleyartscouncil.com/.