PICTOU – The bright white walls will lend themselves well to showcasing what Pictou County artists have to offer.
Jo Ann Landry has been working diligently to create a space where artists can showcase and sell their works without it costing an arm and a leg, it’s called The Art House.
The opening of the business was purely by chance, but an opportunity Landry felt she couldn’t pass up.
“Somebody called me one day and said I needed to go see the owners of the (old) Walker Inn (Sandy Best). So I went down and introduced myself and he told me they have a free space for me to use rent-free if I wanted to take it,” explained Landry. “I couldn’t turn it down.”
Not knowing what to expect, Landry says the space was not in bad shape at all, just in need of some cosmetic touch ups.
“I’m so happy,” she says. “I wanted to get local, struggling artists in, like myself.”
Landry has five Pictou County artists who will initially be showcased in The Art House of varying mediums, from a metal worker to painters, a photographer and even sea glass jewelry maker. Doris Young will also have some of her older works on display for viewing purposes only.
“It’s going to be a home for Nova Scotia artists.”
Landry says she is open to having many more artists work sold in her store.
“I know how tough it is and when you have to pay a high commission fee in stores, so the plan is to have a very reasonable commission fee and all of the money brought in will go back into the shop for upgrades.”
The upgrades Landry is thinking about include working on the back room for storage and other things to beautify the space.
The painter of 20 years will be one of the original five artists to be sold in the store.
“I do acrylics on canvas,” she explains. “I create a lot of folk art and some landscapes, but really it’s a variety.”
Landry finds she gets carried away with painting, lost in her own world of colour and possibility.
“I have so many canvases that I’ve painted and when the space was offered to me I couldn’t refuse.”
The Art House is opening on November 12 and will be open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the winter months with expanded hours in the summer.
“It would be a missed opportunity to not be open during the evenings in the summer when the tourists are here,” she admits.
Landry says any artist interested in selling their work at The Art House can drop in during open hours.
Jo Ann Landry holds the sign for her new business, The Art House, which is opening this Saturday on Coleraine Street in Pictou.