In a barren room that was once a school library in Metchosin is being transformed into a fine art gallery.
The old Metchosin elementary building is currently being used by the Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre Association and providing working studio space for artists.
As suggested by resident artists, MACCA is opening a fine art gallery in the basement of the school after Elections Canada’s local office moved to Glen Lake elementary.
“There is a lack of showing space and working space that artists can afford,” said Mary Gidney, MACCA president. Artists told her that there is a two-year wait to get space in some galleries around the region.
MACCA is a non-profit organization, allowing the cost of renting space to be lower than a business would charge, Gidney explained.
“We want to make enough money so the artists can make some money and we can make some money (to cover costs).”
This future gallery, called the Metchosin Art Gallery, is a 1,000 square foot room that is yet to be transformed, but is anticipated to open this summer.
The gallery will display a variety of art, including paintings, sculpture, pottery and other mediums. The space will be available for Metchosin artists as well as other artists who wish to display their art, regardless of where they call home.
“We also want to include the schools in the gallery,” Gidney said.
To make the transformation possible the District of Metchosin and the Sooke School District received a $15,000 grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
Of the improvements to the room, walls need painting, a new floor will be put in as well as portable walls to help add display space. Florescent lights will be replaced with track lighting.
“This will be a real gallery,” Gidney said. “It’s going to be a class act.”
When the MACCA first started using the school it opened a small gallery in the upstairs hallway called the Blue Hall Gallery, but stopped using that space after artists weren’t keen on their art being displayed on a blue background.
“We’ve come a long way from the Blue Hall Gallery,” Gidney said.
In order to make this vision a reality, a steering committee of about 12 people has been formed.
The steering committee is looking for a curator to help mold the direction and vision for the gallery.
“We want someone to run the gallery,” Gidney said. The salary is yet to be determined.
For more information on the curator position contact Gaert Linnaea at email@example.com.