Written for Kelowna Guide Magazine by – Stewart Turncotte
Art & Galleries
It’s no surprise that artists and art lovers have flocked to Kelowna, found in one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. Discover a variety of public, private, and commercial galleries featuring painting, sculptures, pottery, photography, and even experimental projects, among others.
PRIVATE ART GALLERIES
Alongside the public galleries are a plethora of private and commercial offerings. On 1290 Ellis Street is Hambleton Galleries (hambletongalleries.com), the first of its kind in BC’s Interior and a favorite spot for anyone interested in Canadian arts and culture. Here you’ll find an assortment of work—including original paintings, stone sculptures, ceramics, photography, and glass works—from some of Canada’s leading artists, contemporary and historical alike. Just down the road sits Ellis Art Studios, an 8000-square-foot studio for emerging and established artists. ARTE Funktional (http://artefunktional.com) offers a relaxing atmosphere two blocks over, at 1302 St. Paul Street, and focuses on architectural art, specifically the fusion of artistic design and function. Vibrant Art (http://www.vibrandtart.com), found at 1296 Cannery Lane, is home to six resident artists. Buy one-of-a-kind pieces, take part in art workshops, and see what’s available in the Karmyc Bazaar gift shop.
Further South, in Pandosy Village, are three more galleries. Representing a number of local, regional, and international artists is Gallery 421 (www.gallery421.ca). On offer: original oils, acrylics, stone carvings, blown glass, and more. Established in 1984 and owned by Martina Kral since 2009, the Tutt Art Galleries (www.tuttartgalleries.ca) represent regional, national, and international artists whose work is found in public, private, corporate, and government collections worldwide. Tutt Galleries rotates artwork features each month, so drop by to see some incredible pieces by internationally renowned and celebrated artists. SOPA Fine Arts Gallery (www.sopafinearts.com), located a block west on Pandosy Street, presents engaging, thought-provoking works, including paintings, sculptures, and assemblage works. SOPA features a new exhibition starting the first Thursday of each month.
There are some collections worth seeing outside downtown Kelowna. At 250 Reynolds Road, near the airport, you’ll find indoor and outdoor work by Geert Maas, an internationally acclaimed artist who works in two and three dimensional, specifically in sculpture, painting, reliefs and medallic art. If you enjoy a combination of art and scenic landscapes, then visit Barn Gallery (www.barngallery.ca) nestled among orchards in beautiful Lake Country, just north of the airport. Inside the renovated 80-year-old horse barn, you’ll find a collection of canvases, ceramics, sculptures, and jewelry from 30 local artists, established and emerging alike. Across the William R. Bennett Bridge is the New Moon Gallery (www.newmoonartgallerykelowna.com/). Stop by for some tea while you browse a varied collection of original artwork, including paintings, photography, sculptures, wood-turned bowls, pottery, and jewelry.
Established in 1982 and winner of Okanagan Life Magazine’s The Best Art Store in 2012, Picture Perfect and Perpetual Blooms (http://picture-perfect-kelowna.com) is a family-owned custom framing and art gallery shop. Picture Perfect, located on Lawrence Avenue, specializes in original Okanagan artwork, decorator prints, posters, and art cards, and offers high-end frames and professional services. Drop by and talk with a staff that collectively has over 100 years of industry experience.