A new Sault Ste. Marie Art Gallery is open for any local artist to show their work.
The Algoma Arts Council recently opened up the Dawaa Dazhi Gallery at their 369 Queen Street East location.
The gallery’s name means ‘there is space in this place’ in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language).
Despite its name, the modest 22x16 foot gallery might be the smallest in Sault Ste. Marie. However, organizers have big plans to bring together local artists of all levels - from pre-career teens to well seasoned professionals.
"We’ll give space to anyone who wants to have their work shown,” said Art and Community Project Coordinator Dayna Rainville, who curates the gallery. “Pretty much anyone who hears about. It will be on a first come, first serve basis.”
Multiple artists are being given space on the walls and each month the lineup changes.
On Saturday, one interesting exhibit was ‘Pulse’ - a prototype swinging-pen with magnets drawing device by Kyrstiana Bourdage that was available for people to play and make art with.
The Dawaa Dazhi Gallery was actually created through The Miinikaan Project - a ‘grass roots project’ funded with an Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grant.
If the Arts Council’s next Grow Grant application is successful the program, and the gallery, will be around until at least 2019.
The Miinikaan Project’s main aim is to bring together indigenous and non-indigenous artists together said project liaison Isabelle Michaud.
Under the Miinikaan Project the Arts Council of Algoma is also hosting monthly art workshops that might also generate work to be displayed at the gallery.
The first project was a ‘Spirit Painting’ workshop on Apr. 15.
‘Miinikaan’ means ‘seed’.
“I feel that often young artists in the region aren’t given a chance even to exhibit. Here people can get that chance to show the work and that helps with their grant writing. When artists write grants they have to prove that they have been exhibiting,” said project liaison Isabelle Michaud.
Saturday was the official gallery opening exhibition.
Works from artists Bourdage, Katy Gill, Jenna Mathewson, Joshua Richards were on display.
The gallery’s regular hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday.