Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

They’re putting their hearts on the wall

Long-time co-op gallery set to hold Valentine’s Day showcase

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If you take a trip to Medea Gallery this Valentine’s Day, you’ll see that its members are all heart.


Located at 132 Osborne St., the gallery — a co-op for member artists since 1976 — will host Art on the Wall on Thurs., Feb. 14 from 5 to 9 p.m.


The event, which is open to everyone, will preview works by member artists and will include a poetry reading by Lori Cayer and live musical entertainment by Elowen.


A year ago, the Medea was struggling to keep its doors open due to a lack of membership growth. In January 2012, the gallery’s president George Tanner told Canstar News he couldn’t predict its future beyond a six month timeframe.


In a steady recovery period, the gallery has since received a two grants — one to promote membership and another to improve its décor, including new lighting and signage — and the future now looks cautiously more optimistic, Tanner said.


"These grants have made a big difference in how people perceive the gallery," said Tanner, a freelance graphic artist who lives in Tyndall Park. "We have a new hanging system, where cables slide up and down, which makes it a lot easier to hang things up and take things down."


The gallery currently has a membership of 13 artists — including a guest artist that lives in Dauphin — and Tanner hopes to attract around 10 more members to keep the momentum going.


"We want to introduce the opportunities of the gallery to local artists and we’re trying to attract more accomplished, established artists," he said.


Norwood Grove resident Marika Onufrijchuk Sokulski has been a Medea member for the last 13 years and couldn’t imagine life without it.


"It’s a place to exhibit my art and I like that it’s a co-op gallery and members have a say in how it’s run," said Sokulski, who lives in Norwood Grove.


"I also like that I get to show work in this space, as it is nice working with other artists who share the same goals. I think the gallery is great, as it has lasted so many years. Also, new members add excitement. I think Winnipeg is very lucky to have it," she said.


Member Kathleen Noelle Black said the Feb. 14 event is a perfect way to showcase the gallery for potential new members and art lovers alike.


"The idea is the love of art and putting it on the wall," said Black, a chemotherapy nurse that lives in Wolseley.


"If you’re going to put your art on the wall, you’re leaving yourself open. Be brave and use the experience to grow as an artist. Anyone is welcome at the event. We’d love to see art lovers of all kinds," she said.


For more information, visit www.medeagallery.ca or call 204-453-1115.

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

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