Artist Jenny Long poses in the newly rechristened Long Gallery. Submitted photo

Penticton gallery moves to new phase

Little Long stretches out into Long Gallery

Penticton’s Little Long Studios and Gallery is stretching out a bit, evolving into the Long Gallery and Studios.

Little Long was founded last June as a partnership between two Penticton artists, Jan Little and Jenny Long.

Long said that as time passed, she realized she was growing more passionate about growing the business, managing the gallery, art studio and teaching classes.

“I offered to take over the business and we had a rebirth almost, because when you go from a partnership to a sole proprietorship you have to dissolve,” said Long.

Little is excited to be working full-time as an artist in the studio.

“I am so proud of this gallery and space that I helped co-create, and now I just want to spend more time painting in it and to be a part of this great group of artists,” said Little. “I am very excited about Jenny taking it forward.”

Long said both of them were crushed when they found out that in dissolving the original partnership structure, they wouldn’t legally be able to use the name Little Long for the new gallery.

“We just said ‘okay, I guess that was just phase one and this is phase two,’ which is me taking over the full ownership and just taking it to another level,” said Long. “It is cool to keep my name in there just so people know it’s the same ownership, not a totally different entity.

“It’s the same foundation, a funky art studio and gallery with Jan there, just me taking it on the operations fully now and going forward.”

The Long gallery lives up to its name, she said, a long space filled with art. It’s also got some history with it. Long galleries go back as far as the 1890s.

“There are these actual rooms in fancy mansions that were just called long galleries,” said Long. “It was kind of a cool little nod to that part in history but also the space itself is that, you get to go through a long room with all these different studios and view a whole bunch of different art.”

There are eight full-time artists’ studios as well as part-time members that are creating at the rechristened Long Gallery and Studios.

Long said they’re all wonderful, fresh contemporary artists, and one of her missions is to support and grow the artists that rent spaces in their studios.

“They’re all going to be shown in the gallery and some of them teach classes, which is the really cool part of our space,” said Long. “It’s got that element where new people who have never painted can take a class there and get inspired to make their own art.”

Another goal is to show artists from outside of Penticton, bringing in new influences to the gallery.

“I have a Vancouver artist, his name is Peter Ricq, and he’s a really well-known musician but he shows his paintings and his other visual arts with me,” said Long, adding she wants to show Penticton work that can’t be seen elsewhere.

“I quite often like to put pieces in the window that stop people in their tracks so that they know they’re going into this space that’s kind of showing a little more edgy, little more contemporary works,” said Long.

With all this, Long said she’ll continue to find time to pursue her own art.

“I’m used to balancing a lot in my life. I have kids and I managed to stay home and raise them and still keep myself painting, in my practice and teaching. I’ve done the juggling before,” said Long, adding that running the gallery excites her and fuels the energy she has to keep creating in her own practice.

“I think it’s really important for me just as a person to always keep making my own art and discovering,” said Long. “It definitely will take up more of my time but I’m just more jazzed now because I’ll be helping other artists as well.”

The Long Gallery and Studios’ regular spring hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday through April from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or by appointment. You can find Long Gallery on Instagram at @longgallerystudios and on Facebook at The Long Gallery + Studios.

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