The Martin Street Art and Music Gallery is ready to launch after the endless efforts of three established local artists.
“What we want is for people to come in and have an art experience,” co-owner Renee Matheson said. “Like the ones in Europe – proper galleries with lots of space, allowing them to properly display the work of each artist”
After a year of preparation and months of renovations, Kindrie Grove, Terry Grove and Matheson are ready to open their new endeavour to the public.
The community is invited to take part in grand opening celebrations at their 205 Martin St. location. The openings are being held on Aug 28 and 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., as well as Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Their vision was to create a gallery that entices many forms of artistic disciplines. Before taking over the Martin Street location, Kindrie and Matheson shared a second-floor studio on Main Street, and started to feel like they had outgrown it.
“I’d always had a long-term vision of a larger space with a gallery and space for music and other art crossovers to happen,” Kindrie said.
The Martin Street location is around 6,000 square ft., which offers enough space to cater to a large cross-section of Penticton’s artistic community.
Two rooms in the gallery have been soundproofed, one for audio recordings and another for meditative and yoga sessions. Several rooms in the building are being leased out to other local artists at a rate of $280 to $460 per month, and there’s already a wait list to get in.
“We filled up really fast without even advertising it,” Kindrie said, citing painters, a leather crafter, photographer and a tiki artist as tenants.
“We wanted to create a real venue rental with a new concept,” Matheson said.
Although the private studios have filled up, several other leasing opportunities are available through the gallery. The space can be rented out for weddings, small concerts, parties or meetings, and even has an in-house jazz band for hire. Catering is made easy with an on-site kitchen; the building’s equipped with a PA system and it’s wheelchair accessible.
“For any special occasion, you can come into this place which is already set and has a great energy to it,” Matheson said. “We can cater, provide music – it’s sort of like a themed celebratory space.”
There will be live music featured intermittently throughout week, and a special jazz performance every Saturday morning to coincide with the Penticton Farmer’s Market, which is only one block east of the studio. Another regular musical feature will be the Monday Night Jazz Friends.
Visitors will also notice the working studios of Kindire and Matheson within the gallery, which are laid out in an open concept. When it’s time to embark upon a messier projects, there’s a large storage facility in the back.
Because of Terry’s role in the trio, the gallery also serves as a music venue. Situated in the middle of the gallery is a stage, which offers the essential equipment for performing musicians.
“It’s a great practice and performance space, and it’ll really help to develop amateur or semi-professional musicians,” Terry said. “And hopefully also we will be seen as a venue for professionals because the vibe is really good.”
Terry said the stage was laid out to ensure a quality and consistent listening experience.
“Everybody that comes to play here has said that the vibe is so good and the visual aspect is terrific,” Terry said.
“Our three visions just meld together so perfectly,” Matheson said. “The partnership is so simpatico.”
Once the dust settles after the grand opening, the team is planning to offer lessons and workshops, particularly with younger artists.
“We hope to give tours for kids at school to let them experience a real gallery,” Matheson said.
She said many children feel like they can’t draw because they didn’t identify an artist, but that attitude can be easily reversed.
“It’s really neat to expose kids to the possibility of pursuing their creativity.”
Upon taking over the building, the team inherited an out-of-date office space, which had a suspended t-bar ceiling, fluorescent lighting and stinky carpets. They spent months gutting the interior before refurbishing it into a stylish, modern studio.
“There’s been a total transformation,” Kindrie said.
The studio is open sever days a week from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. but will likely close on Sunday’s after Thanksgiving.
“We wanted to create something that was really high quality that felt like you could walk in and have a real art experience but was also comfortable, friendly and warm,” Kindrie said.