Opening a new business in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic comes with a lot of challenges.
But it’s paying off for three creative Calgarians who are now bringing some beauty to these tough times.
They’re all visual artists who came together to open a pop-up gallery — Art at The Landing — in the Glenmore Landing shopping centre in southwest Calgary.
Never having run a gallery before, it’s been a learning experience for all of them, a move made necessary by the pandemic.
“We had the majority of our shows cancelled, and galleries that we were involved in closed,” artist Brenda Banda Johnson said.
“We were looking for a way to get our art out in front of people, where they can actually stand in front of it and look at it, which is so much better than looking at it online.”
The artists have sold more than 40 of their paintings since they opened in mid-January 2021.
“Forty is phenomenal,” artist Holly Burghardt said.
The artists say many of the sales are related to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Definitely people having been made to stay at home for so long are looking at their walls a lot more than they used to,” artist Terri Heinrichs said. “And they’re thinking: ‘What can we do to freshen up the space?’ And now they need art.”
The artists feel fortunate to be able to share their work at this time.
“During a pandemic, you know, you just start to go a little crazy,” Burghardt said. “It’s just super important to bring some life and vibrancy to the community, just to keep people’s spirits lifted.”
The artists are looking forward to moving to a larger space at Glenmore Landing at the beginning of April.
“It’s been really exciting, pulling together and being creative and being forward-thinking,” Banda Johnson said.
“My hope is that when people look at it, they feel joy.”
The artists say running their own gallery is definitely giving them joy as well.
“We’re just doing what we love to do,” Burghardt said. “And we are just rockin’ it.”